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THE 
MISADVENTURES 


OF 


SHERLOCK  HOLMES 


ited  by 
ELLERY  QUEEN 


His  book 


NOVELS  BY  ELLERY  QUEEN 

THE  ROMAN  HAT  MYSTERY  THE  SPANISH  CAPE  MYSTERY 

THE  FRENCH  POWDER  MYSTERY  HALFWAY  HOUSE 

THE  DUTCH  SHOE  MYSTERY  THE  DOOR  BETWEEN 

THE  GREEK  COFFIN  MYSTERY  THE  DEVIL  TO  PAY 

THE  EGYPTIAN  CROSS  MYSTERY  THE  FOUR  OF  HEARTS 

THE  AMERICAN  GUN  MYSTERY  THE  DRAGON'S  TEETH 

THE  SIAMESE  TWIN  MYSTERY  CALAMITY  TOWN 

THE  CHINESE  ORANGE  MYSTERY  THERE  WAS  AN  OLD  WOMAN 

BOOKS  OF  SHORT  STORIES  BY  ELLERY  QUEEN 

THE  ADVENTURES  OF  ELLERY  QUEEN 
THE  New  ADVENTURES  OF  ELLERY  QUEEN 

CRITICAL  WORKS  BY  ELLERY  QUEEN 

CHALLENGE  TO  THE  READER  (AN  ANTHOLOGY) 
1 01   YEARS'  ENTERTAINMENT: 

,  THE  GREAT  DETECTIVE  STORIES 

1841-1941  (A  COMMEMORATIVE  ANTHOLOGY) 
THE  DETECTIVE  SHORT  STORY:  A  BIBLIOGRAPHY 
SPORTING  BLOOD:  THE  GREAT  SPORTS  DETECTIVE  STORIES 
THE  FEMALE  OF  THE  SPECIES: 

THE  GREAT  WOMEN  DETECTIVES  AND  CRIMINALS 
THE  MISADVENTURES  OF  SHERLOCK  HOLMES  (AN  ANTHOLOGY) 

UNDER  THE  PSEUDONYM  OF  BARNABY  ROSS 

THE  TRAGEDY  OF  X  (Republished  as  by  Ellery  Queen) 
THE  TRAGEDY  OF  Y  (Republished  as  by  Ellery  Queen) 
THE  TRAGEDY  OF  Z  (Republished  as  by  Ellery  Queen) 
DRURY  LANE'S  LAST  CASE- 

UNDER  THE  PSEUDONYM  OF  ELLERY  QUEEN,  JR. 

THE  BLACK  Doc  MYSTERY  (A  JUVENILE) 
THE  GOLDEN  EAGLE  MYSTERY  (A  JUVENILE) 

JUNIOR  MYSTERIES  BY  ELLERY  QUEEN 

ELLERY  QUEEN,  MASTER  DETECTIVE 

THE  PENTHOUSE  MYSTERY 

THE  PERFECT  CRIME 

ELLERY  QUEEN  AND  THE  ADVENTURE  OF  THE  LAST  MAN  CLUB 

(A  Radio  Adaptation) 
ELLERY  QUEEN,  THE  MASTER  DETECTIVE:  THE  ADVENTURE 

OF  THE  MURDERED  MILLIONAIRE  (A  Radio  Adaptation) 


THE  MISADVENTURES  OF 
SHERLOCK  HOLMES 


"The  members  of  the  Society  of  Infallible  Detectives  were 
just  sitting  around  and  being  socially  infallible,  in  their 
rooms  in  Fakir  Street,  when  President  Holmes  strode 

in."  (page  40) 


THE  MISADVENTURES 

OF 
SHERLOCK   HOLMES 

i!"M!M»^ 


EDITED     BY 


ELLERY    QUEEN 


LITTLE,   BROWN  AND  COMPANY     •     BOSTON 

1944 


COPYRIGHT     1944,    BY    LITTLE,     BROWN    AND    COMPANY 

ALL    RIGHTS    RESERVED,    INCLUDING    THE    RIGHT 

TO     REPRODUCE     THIS     BOOK     OR     PORTIONS 

THEREOF    IN    ANY     FORM 


Published  March  1944 
Reprinted  April  1944 
Reprinted  May  1944 


PRINTED    IN    THE    UNITED    STATES   OF    AMERICA 


INTRODUCTION 

Dear  Reader: 

This  is  one  of  the  Queens  speaking  .  .  . 

I  want  to  tell  you  the  unforgettable  circumstances  that  led  to  my 
first  meeting  with  Sherlock  Holmes. 

When  I  was  a  child  my  family  lived  in  a  small  town  in  western 
New  York.  I  didn't  realize  it  then,  but  I  was  given  a  colossal  gift 
early  in  life  —  a  Huckleberry  Finn-Tom  Sawyer  boyhood  spent,  by 
a  strange  coincidence,  in  the  very  town  in  which  Mark  Twain  lived 
shortly  before  I  was  born. 

Does  any  man  with  a  spark  of  boyhood  still  in  his  heart  ever  for- 
get his  home  town?  No  —  it's  an  unconquerable  memory.  Most  of  us 
never  return,  but  none  of  us  forgets. 

I  remember  we  had  a  river  at  our  back  door  —  the  gentle  Chemung. 
I  remember  how,  in  the  cycle  of  years,  the  spring  torrents  came  down 
from  the  hills;  how  they  overflowed  our  peaceful  valley  —yes,  over 
the  massive  concrete  dikes  that  towered  with  grim  Egyptian  austerity 
above  the  shallow  bed  of  the  Chemung.  I  remember  how  old  man 
river  burst  through  our  back  door,  flooding  our  kitchen  and  parlor, 
driving  us  —  temporary  refugees  —  to  our  top  floor.  Happy  days  for 
a  wide-eyed  boy,  proud  in  his  hip-boots  and  man's  sou'wester,  with 
the  prospect  of  daily  trips  by  rowboat  —  voyages  of  high  adventure  — 
to  the  nearest  grocer! 

I  remember  the  unpaved  streets  —  the  heavily  rutted  road  that 
slept  in  the  sun  before  our  house.  I  have  a  queer  memory  about 
those  ruts.  Every  4th  of  July  we  boys  would  plant  our  firecrackers 
deep  in  the  soft  earth  of  those  ruts.  Then  we'd  touch  our  smoking 
punks  to  the  row  of  seedling  fuses,  run  for  cover,  and  watch  the 
"thunderbolts"  (that's  what  they  were  called  in  those  days)  explode 
with  a  muffled  roar  and  send  heavenward  —  at  least  three  feet! 
a  shower  of  dirt  and  stones.  It  wasn't  so  long  after  the  Spanish- 
American  War  that  we  couldn't  pretend  we  were  blowing  up  the 


vi  INTRODUCTION 

Maine  —  in  some  strangely  perverted  terrestrial  fashion  only  small 
boys  can  invent. 

I  remember  the  long  walks  to  and  from  public  school  —  three  miles 
each  way,  in  summer  mud  and  winter  drifts;  the  cherry  trees  and 
apple  trees  and  chicken  coops  and  dogs— the  long  succession  of 
dogs  ending  with  that  fine  hunter  that  was  killed  by  a  queer-looking 
machine  called  an  "automobile."  I  remember  the  all-day  trips  to  the 
brown  October  hills,  gathering  nuts;  the  wood  fires  and  the  popping 
corn;  the  swimming  hole  that  no  one  knew  about  but  ourselves;  the 
boyhood  secret  society  and  its  meeting  place  in  the  shed  behind  my 
best  friend's  house.  We  called  it  "The  League  of  the  Clutching  Hand" 
—  can  you  guess  why  ? 

But  I  started  to  tell  you  how  I  first  met  Sherlock  Holmes.  Some- 
how I  cannot  think  of  Holmes  without  succumbing  to  a  wave  of 
sentimental  nostalgia.  I  find  myself  fading  back  — far,  far  back  in 
the  remembrance  of  things  past. 

As  a  boy  my  reading  habits  were  pure  and  innocent.  I  confess 
now  that  I  never  read  a  Nick  Carter  until  I  was  past  thirty.  My 
literary  childhood  consisted  of  Horatio  Alger  and  Tom  Swift  and 
the  Viking  legends  and  the  multi-colored  Lang  fairy  books  and  — 
yes,  the  Oz  stories.  I  can  reread  the  Oz  stories  even  today  — and  I 
do.  Somehow  crime  and  detection  failed  to  cross  my  path  in  all 
those  happy  days,  except  in  the  movies  —  "The  Clutching  Hand," 
remember?  The  closest  I  might  have  come  to  blood  and  thunder 
would  have  been  TOM  SAWYER,  DETECTIVE  —  I  say  "might  have  come," 
because  oddly  enough  I  have  no  recollection  of  TOM  SAWYER,  DE- 
TECTIVE as  part  of  my  early  reading. 

When  I  was  twelve  years  old  my  family  moved  to  New  York  City. 
For  a  time  we  lived  with  my  grandfather  in  Brooklyn.  It  was  in  my 
grandfather's  house,  only  a  few  weeks  after  my  arrival  in  fabulous 
New  York,  that  I  met  Sherlock  Holmes.  Oh,  unforgettable  day! 

I  was  ill  in  bed.  In  those  days  I  was  afflicted  periodically  with  an 
abscess  of  the  left  ear.  It  came  year  after  year,  with  almost  astronom- 
ical regularity  —  and  always,  I  remember,  during  the  week  of  school 
exams.  My  grandfather  had  an  old  turnip  of  a  watch  that  he  used  to 
place  flat  against  my  left  ear,  and  it  always  astounded  him  that,  even 
after  the  ordeal  of  having  had  my  ear  lanced,  I  still  couldn't  hear 
his  Big  Ben  tick. 


INTRODUCTION  Vll 

I  was  lying  in  bed,  a  miserable  youngster,  on  just  such  a  day  as 
Dr.  Watson  has  so  often  described  —  a  "bleak  and  windy"  day  with 
the  ringers  of  winter  scratching  at  the  window  pane.  One  of  my 
aunts  walked  in  and  handed  me  a  book  she  had  borrowed  at  the 
near-by  public  library. 

It   Was   THE   ADVENTURES   OF   SHERLOCK    HOLMES. 

I  opened  the  book  with  no  realization  that  I  stood  —  rather,  I 
sat  — on  the  brink  of  my  fate.  I  had  no  inkling,  no  premonition, 
that  in  another  minute  my  life's  work,  such  as  it  is,  would  be  born. 
My  first  glance  was  disheartening.  I  saw  the  frontispiece  of  the 
Harper  edition  —  a  picture  of  a  rather  innocuous  man  in  dress  coat 
and  striped  trousers  holding  the  arm  of  a  young  woman  in  bridal 
gown.  A  love  story,  I  said  to  myself  —  for  surely  this  unattractive 
couple  were  in  a  church  about  to  be  married.  The  quotation  under 
the  illustration  —  "The  gentleman  in  the  pew  handed  it  up  to  her"  — 
was  not  encouraging.  In  fact,  there  was  nothing  in  that  ill-chosen 
frontispiece  by  Sidney  Paget  to  make  a  twelve-year-old  boy  sit  up 
and  take  notice  —  especially  with  his  left  ear  in  agony. 

Only  an  unknown  and  unknowable  sixth  sense  prompted  me  to 
turn  to  the  table  of  contents  —  and  then  the  world  brightened.  The 
first  story  —  A  Scandal  in  Bohemia  —  seemed  to  hold  little  red- 
blooded  promise,  but  the  next  story  was,  and  always  will  be,  a  mile- 
stone. 

A  strange  rushing  thrill  challenged  the  pain  in  my  ear.  The  Red- 
Headed  League!  What  a  combination  of  simple  words  to  skewer 
themselves  into  the  brain  of  a  hungry  boy !  I  glanced  down  quickly  — 
The  Man  with  the  Twisted  Lip  —  The  Adventure  of  the  Speckled 
Band  —  and  I  was  lost!  Ecstatically,  everlastingly  lost! 

I  started  on  the  first  page  of  A  Scandal  in  Bohemia  and  truly,  the 
game  was  afoot.  The  unbearable  pain  in  my  ear  —  vanished!  The 
abyss  of  melancholy  into  which  only  a  twelve-year-old  boy  can  sink 
—  forgotten! 

I  finished  THE  ADVENTURES  that  night.  I  wasn't  sad  —  I  was  glad. 
It  wasn't  the  end  —  it  was  the  beginning.  I  had  knocked  fearlessly 
on  the  door  of  a  new  world  and  I  had  been  admitted.  There  was  a 
long  road  ahead  —  even  longer  than  I  dreamed.  That  night,  as  I 
closed  the  book,  I  knew  that  I  had  read  one  of  the  greatest  books 
ever  written.  And  today  I  realize  with  amazement  how  true  and 


Vlll  INTRODUCTION 

tempered  was  my  twelve-year-old  critical  sense.  For  in  the  mature 
smugness  of  my  present  literary  judgment,  I  still  feel  —  unalterably 

—  that  THE  ADVENTURES  is  one  of  the  world's  masterworks. 

I  could  not  have  slept  much  that  night.  If  I  did,  I  merely  passed 
from  one  dreamworld  to  another  —  with  the  waking  dream  in- 
finitely more  wondrous.  I  remember  when  morning  came  —  how 
symbolically  the  sun  shone  past  my  window.  I-  leaped  from  bed, 
dressed,  and  with  that  great  wad  of  yellow-stained  cotton  still  in 
my  ear,  stole  out  of  the  house.  As  if  by  instinct  I  knew  where  the 
public  library  was.  Of  course  it  wasn't  open,  but  I  sat  on  the  steps 
and  waited.  And  though  I  waited  hours,  it  seemed  only  minutes 
until  a  prim  old  lady  came  and  unlocked  the  front  door. 

But,  alas  —  I  had  no  card.  Yes,  I  might  fill  out  this  form,  and 
take  it  home,  and  have  my  parents  sign  it,  and  then  after  three  days 

—  three  days?  three  eternities!  —  I  could  call  and  pick  up  my  card. 
I  begged,  I  pleaded,  I  implored  —  and  there  must  have  been  some- 
thing irresistible  in  my  voice  and  in  my  eyes.  Thank  you  now,  Miss 
Librarian-of-Those-Days!  Those  thanks  are  long  overdue.  For  that 
gentle-hearted  old  lady  broke  all  the  rules  of  librarydom  and  gave 
me  a  card  —  and  told  me  with  a  twinkle  in  her  eyes  where  I  could 
find  books  by  a  man  named  Doyle. 

I  rushed  to  the  stacks.  My  first  reaction  was  one  of  horrible  and 
devastating  disappointment.  Yes,  there  were  books  by  Doyle  on  the 
shelves  —  but  so  few  of  them!  I  had  expected  a  whole  libraryful  — 
rows  and  rows  of  Sherlock,  all  waiting  patiently  for  my  "coming  of 
age." 

I  found  three  precious  volumes.  I  bundled  them  under  my  arm, 
had  them  stamped,  and  fled  home.  Back  in  bed  I  started  to  read  — 
A  STUDY  IN  SCARLET,  THE  MEMOIRS  (with  a  frontispiece  that  almost 
frightened  me  to  death),  THE  HOUND  OF  THE  BASKERVILLES.  They  were 
food  and  drink  and  medicine  —  and  all  the  Queen's  horses  and  all 
the  Queen's  men  couldn't  put  Ellery  together  again. 

But  my  doom  had  been  signed,  sealed,  and  delivered  in  THE  AD- 
VENTURES. The  books  which  followed  merely  broadened  the  picture, 
filled  in  the  indelible  details.  That  tall,  excessively  lean  man.  His 
thin  razor-like  face  and  hawk's-bill  of  a  nose.  The  curved  pipe,  the 
dressing  gown.  The  way  he  paced  up  and  down  the  room,  quickly, 


INTRODUCTION  IX 

eagerly,  his  head  sunk  upon  his  chest.  The  way  he  examined  the 
scene  of  a  crime,  on  all  fours,  his  nose  to  the  ground.  The  gaunt 
dynamic  figure  and  his  incisive  speech.  The  gasogene,  the  Persian 
slipper,  and  the  coal  scuttle  for  the  cigars.  The  bullet-pocks  on  the 
wall,  the  scraping  violin.  The  hypodermic  syringe  1  -  what  a  shock 
to  my  fledgling  sensibilities!  The  ghostly  hansom  cab  — with  a 
twelve-year-old  boy  clinging  by  some  miracle  of  literary  gymnastics 
to  its  back  as  it  rattled  off  through  the  mist  and  fog  ... 
Reader,  I  had  met  Sherlock  Holmes. 

THIS  IS  now  both  Queens  speaking  .  .  . 

To  think  of  Sherlock  Holmes  by  any  other  name,2  as  Vincent 
Starrett  has  said,  is  paradoxically  unthinkable.  And  yet  in  this  book 
you  will  meet  him  under  a  host  of  aliases. 

It  is  interesting  to  note  that  the  name,  as  we  know  it  today,  did 
not  come  to  Doyle's  mind  in  a  lightning  flash  of  inspiration.  Doyle 
had  to  labor  over  it.  His  first  choice,  according  to  H.  Douglas  Thom- 
son,3 was  Sherrington  Hope.  Only  after  considerable  shuffling  and 
reshuffling  did  Doyle  hit  on  that  peculiarly  magical  and  inexplicably- 
satisfying  combination  of  syllables  which  is  now  so  permanent  a  part 
of  the  English  language. 

There  seems  to  have  been  a  halfway  mark  when  the  name  was 
Sherrinford  Holmes,  which  Vincent  Starrett  claims  to  have  been  the 
first  form,4  substantiating  this  claim  with  a  reproduction  of  a  page 
from  Conan  Doyle's  old  notebook  5  in  which  "Sherrinford  Holmes" 

1  A  persistent  legend  attributes  the  reform  of  Sherlock  Holmes  (the  cocaine  habit 
disappears  in  the  later  adventures)  to  a  member  of  Britain's  Royal  Family  who  is  sup- 
posed to  have  suggested  to  Doyle  that  Holmes  abandon  the  hypodermic  in  the  in- 
terests of  propriety. 

2  Holmes  is  sometimes  called  Fu-erh-mo-hsi  by  Chinese  detective-story  writers.  He 
is  invariably  treated  as  a  great  popular  hero  who  wages  deadly  combat  with  ghosts, 
fox-women,  tiger-men,  and  other  supernatural  horrors  so  dear  to  the  heart  of  the 
Chinese  masses. 

3  H.  Douglas  Thomson's  MASTERS  OF  MYSTERY:  A  Study  of  the  Detective  Story;  Lon- 
don, Collins,  1931.  Page  139:  "In  A  STUDY  IN  SCARLET  Sherlock  Holmes  made  his  first 
appearance  as  Mr.  Sherrington  Hope." 

*  Vincent  Starrett's  THE  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  SHERLOCK  HOLMES;  New  York,  Macmillan, 

1933.  page  8. 

5  Ibid.,  page  n.  The  same  notebook  page  proves  that  Watson  also  experienced  a 
metamorphosis:  his  original  name  was  supposed  to  have  been  Ormond  Sacker! 


X  INTRODUCTION 

can  be  clearly  deciphered  in  his  creator's  own  handwriting.  But  there 
is  no  proof  that  the  notebook  page  represents  Doyle's  earliest  think- 
ing,6 since  in  his  autobiography  7  Sir  Arthur  makes  the  statement : 
"First  it  was  Sherringford  Holmes;  then  it  was  Sherlock  Holmes." 
Note  the  additional  "g"  in  the  first  name:  this  is  unsupported  by  the 
notebook  page  and  must  be  interpreted  either  as  a  trick  of  Doyle's 
memory  or  another  evolutionary  stage  harking  back  to  Thomson's 
"Sherrington."  8 

It  has  been  said  too  that  Doyle  finally  chose  the  surname  "Holmes" 
because  of  his  great  admiration  for  Oliver  Wendell  Holmes,  the 
American  essayist,  poet,  and  physician;  and  "Sherlock"  because  he 
once  made  thirty  runs  against  a  bowler  of  that  name  and  thereafter 
had  a  kindly  feeling  for  it.  Both  are  mere  beliefs,  though  almost  uni- 
versally accepted.  It  is  significant  that  Doyle  revealed  no  details 
whatever  in  his  autobiography  as  to  the  true  origin  of  the  final  name. 

As  a  general  rule  writers  of  pastiches  retain  the  sacred  and  invio- 
late form  —  Sherlock  Holmes  —  and  rightfully,  since  a  pastiche  is  a 
serious  and  sincere  imitation  in  the  exact  manner  of  the  original 
author.  But  writers  of  parodies,  which  are  humorous  or  satirical  take- 
offs,  have  no  such  reverent  scruples.  They  usually  strive  for  the 
weirdest  possible  distortions  and  it  must  be  admitted  that  many 
highly  ingenious  travesties  have  been  conceived.  Fortunately  or  un- 
fortunately, depending  on  how  much  of  a  purist  one  is,  the  name 
Sherlock  Holmes  is  peculiarly  susceptible  to  the  twistings  and  mis- 
shapenings  of  burlesque-minded  authors. 


6  Great   writers   are   capable   of   great   afterthoughts.   The   evolution   of   "Sherlock 
Holmes"  from  the  incunabular  "Sherrington  Hope"  and/or  "Sherringford  Holmes" 
is  a  creative  change  second  only  to  Edgar  Allan  Poe's  magnificent  alteration  in  the 
title  of  die  world's  first  detective  story.  Poe  originally  called  it  The  Murders  in  the 
Rue  Trianon  Bas.  The  scratching  out  of  Trianon  Bas  and  the  adding  of  [Rue]  Morgue 
is  one  of  the  most  inspired  acts  of  penmanship  in  the  history  of  literature. 

7  MEMORIES  AND  ADVENTURES;  London,  Hodder  &  Stoughton,  1924;  Boston,  Little, 
Brown,  1924.  How  could  Doyle  have  resisted  die  overwhelming  temptation  to  call  his 
autobiography  ADVENTURES  AND  MEMOIRS? 

8  It  is  Vincent  Starrett's  opinion  dial  Mr.  Thomson  merely  trusted  to  his  memory 
when  he  claimed  Sherrington  Hope  to  be  die  original  name  —  and  that  his  memory 
failed  him.  Mr.  Thomson  probably  garbled  Doyle's  own  statement  about  Sherrin(g)ford 
Holmes,  tJhen  mixed  it  up  with  Jefferson  Hope,  the  name  of  the  murderer  in  A  STUDY 
IN  SCARLET.  Mr.  Starrett  is  so  certain  this  is  what  happened  diat  he  is  willing  to  bet 
all  his  precious  first  editions  of  Holmes  that  he  is  right!  Personally,  we  agree  with 
Mr.  Starrett's  views  —  so  unconditionally,  in  fact,  that  we  are  prepared  to  risk  our 
own  precious  first  editions  by  offering  to  share  Mr.  Starrett's  bet. 


INTRODUCTION  XI 

That  is  why  you  will  meet  in  this  volume  such  appellative  dis- 
guises as 

Sherlaw  Kombs 

Picklock  Holes 
Thinlock  Bones 
Shylock  Homes  9 
Hemlock  Jones 
Purlock  Hone 
Holmlock  Shears 
Herlock  Sholmes 
Shamrock  Jolnes 
Solar  Pons 
Shirley  Holmes 

and,  by  comparison,  such  moderately  warped  Watsonisms  as 

Whatson 
Potson 
Whatsoname 
Jobson 
Whatsup 

WE  CANNOT  bring  you  anything  new  of  Sherlock  —  you've  read 
all  there  is.  By  the  time  this  book  is  published,  the  newly  discovered 
short  story,  The  Man  Who  Was  Wanted,  may  have  been  given  to 
the  world  by  the  Doyle  estate  — and  you  will  have  devoured  that. 
And  that's  all  there  is,  there  is  no  more.  We  are  realists  enough  to 
face  the  hard  fact  that  there  is  no  Cox's  Bank --not  in  this  world; 
that  there  is  no  dispatch-box  in  its  legendary  vaults  containing  the 
documents  of  unrecorded  cases.  They  are  lost  to  us  forever. 

9  One  of  the  newest  variants  has  a  curious  politico-economic  flavor:  on  the  night  of 
May  6    1943,  in  the  Rudy  Vallee  radio  show,  Basil  Rathbone  played  the  part  ot  a 
detective  named  F.  H.  A.  Homes.  And  currently,  in  the  magazine  'Speed  Comics, 
there  is  a  series  of  color  comics  in  which  The  Master  Detective  (assisted  by  Dr.  Watsis) 
is  called  Padlock  Homes. 

Two  bizarre  uses  of  Sherlock  as  a  first  name  also  come  to  mind.  On  July  ii, 
1043  Station  WJZ  of  New  York  broadcast  a  "Sneak  Preview"  radio  program  titled 
"Cohen  the  Detective";  this  show.  Potash  and  Perlmutter  style,  concerned  the  de- 
tectival  misadventures  of  two  partners  in  the  clothing  business,  Mr.  Sherlock  Cohen 
and  his  associate,  Mr.  Wasserman.  And  in  the  magazine  "Funny  Animals,  there  is 
now  appearing  a  series  of  color  comics  about  Sherlock  Monk,  a  monkey  wearing  a 
deerstalker-cap  and  smoking  a  calabash  pipe,  and  his  assistant,  Chuck,  a  duck  wearing 
a  flat,  wide-brimmed  straw  hat;  it  is  Chuck,  however,  who  is  the  real  sleuth  of  this 
strange  zoological  detective-team. 


Xli  INTRODUCTION 

Someone  has  said  that  more  has  been  written  about  Sherlock 
Holmes  than  about  any  other  character  in  fiction.  It  is  further  true 
that  more  has  been  written  about  Holmes  by  others  than  by  Doyle 
himself.  Vincent  Starrett  once  conjectured  that  "innumerable  paro- 
dies of  THE  ADVENTURES  have  appeared  in  innumerable  journals."  10 
There  aren't  that  many,  of  course;  but  a  half  dozen  or  more  full- 
length  volumes  have  been  devoted  to  Holmes's  career  and  personality, 
literally  hundreds  of  essays  and  magazine  articles,  a  few-score  radio 
dramas,  some  memorable  plays,  many  moving-picture  scripts  —  and 
to  put  it  more  accurately,  numerous  parodies  and  pastiches. 

We  bring  you  the  finest  of  these  parodies  and  pastiches.  They  are 
the  next  best  thing  to  new  stories  —  unrecorded  cases  of  The  Great 
Man,  not  as  Dr.  Watson  related  them,  but  as  some  of  our  most 
brilliant  literary  figures  have  imagined  them.  These  "misadventures" 
-  these  Barriesque  adventures  that  might  have  been  —  are  all  writ- 
ten with  sincere  reverence,  despite  the  occasional  laughter  and  fun- 
pokings,  which  are  only  a  psychological  form  of  adoration  —  or, 
perhaps,  downright  envy.  The  old  proverb  —  "imitation  is  the  sin- 
cerest  flattery"  —  reveals  in  a  single  laconic  sentence  the  compre- 
hensive motif  of  this  book. 

You  will  see  Holmes  through  the  eyes  of  Mark  Twain,  O.  Henry, 
Bret  Harte,  Sir  James  Barrie,  Stephen  Leacock,  and  lesser  lights  — 
all  Devotees  of  Doyle  and  Sycophants  of  Sherlock,  all  humble  Wat- 
sons paying  homage  from  their  own  22iB,  the  eternal  sanctuary  of 
perpetual  youth. 

AND  FINALLY,  an  explanation  for  certain  omissions  —  "missing 
misadventures."  We  have  not  failed  to  consider  the  inclusion  of  three 
pastiches  in  which  Sherlock  Holmes  solves  the  mystery  of  Charles 
Dickens's  Edwin  Drood.  The  first  of  these,  by  Andrew  Lang,  ap- 
peared in  "Longman's  Magazine,"  London,  issue  of  September  1905. 
The  second,  by  Edmund  Lester  Pearson,  is  contained  in  Chapter  III 
of  the  author's  THE  SECRET  BOOK  (New  York,  Macmillan,  1914).  The 
third,  by  Harry  B.  Smith,  appeared  in  "Munsey's  Magazine,"  De- 
cember 1924,  and  was  later  published  in  book  form.11  After  many 
pipefuls  of  indecision  we  came  to  the  conclusion  that  all  three  are 

10  Vincent  Starrett's  THE  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  SHERLOCK  HOLMES;  page  162. 

11  Harry  B.  Smith's  HOW  SHERLOCK  HOLMES  SOLVED  THE  MYSTERY  OF  EDWIN  DROOD; 
Glen  Rock,  Pa.,  Walter  Klinefelter,  1934,  private  edition  limited  to  thirty-three  copies. 


INTRODUCTION  Xlll 

too  specialized  in  treatment  and  content  matter  to  appeal  to  the 

general  reader. 

Nor  have  we  overlooked  Corey  Ford's  The  Rollo  Boys  with  Sher- 
loc{  in  Mayfair;  or,  Keep  It  Under  Your  Green  Hat.  This  is  to  be 
found  in  the  author's  THREE  ROUSING  CHEERS  FOR  THE  ROLLO  BOYS  * 
and  in  the  January  1926  issue  of  "The  Bookman."  As  the  title  in- 
dicates, Mr.  Ford  contrived  a  triple-barreled  parody  of  the  Rover 
Boys,  Sherlock  Holmes,  and  Michael  Arlen.  But  the  satirical  em- 
phasis was  almost  exclusively  on  Arlen's  literary  style  in  his  famous 
book,  THE  GREEN  HAT,  and  so  fails  to  maintain  contemporary  interest. 
Regretfully  we  have  been  forced  to  exclude  the  pastiches  written 
by  H.  Bedford  Jones.  This  popular  author  once  wrote  a  series  of 
stories  revealing  the  "true  facts"  in  Watson's  unrecorded  cases  —  an 
imaginary  dip  into  that  "travel-worn  and  battered  tin  dispatch-box" 
in  the  vaults  of  the  bank  of  Cox  and  Co.,  at  Charing  Cross.  But 
after  writing  the  series,  H.  Bedford  Jones  decided  to  remove  Sher- 
lock—thus disenchanting  the  stories  — and  sold  most  of  them  as 
"ordinary"  detective  tales.  We  have  had  the  pleasure  of  reading 
three  of  Mr.  Jones's  "recorded"  cases  —  The  Adventure  of  the  At- 
\inson  Brothers  (referred  to  by  Watson  in  A  Scandal  in  Bohemia),™ 
The  Affair  of  the  Aluminium  Crutch  (referred  to  in  The  Uusgrave 
Ritual)?*  and  The  Adventure  of  the  Matilda  Briggs  (referred  to 
in  The  Adventure  of  the  Sussex  Vampire}.15 

We  have  also  — this  time  without  regret  —  omitted  a  translation 
of  the  numerous  "Sherlock  Ol-mes"  pastiches  counterfeited,  so  to 
speak,  in  the  pulp-factories  of  Barcelona.  These  were  written  by 
anonymous  hacks  and  spread  throughout  the  Spanish-language  coun- 
tries of  the  world.  You  will  understand  our  restraint  when  you  read 
the  following  synopsis,  generously  supplied  by  that  indefatigable 
enthusiast,  Mr.  Anthony  Boucher.  It  is  a  typical  example  of  what 
happened  to  Holmes  in  MEMORIAS  ULTIMAS  — a  potboiler-potpourri 
of  sex  and  sensation  titled  Jac^,  El  Destripador  (}ac{  the  Ripper). 

12  A  rare  instance  in  which  book -appearance  (New  York,  Doran,  1925)  anticipated 
magazine-appearance  ("The  Bookman,"  January  1926). 

13  THE  ADVENTURES  OF  SHERLOCK  HOLMES;  London,  Newnes,  1892;  New  York,  Har- 
per, 1892. 

i*  MEMOIRS  OF  SHERLOCK  HOLMES;  New  York,  Harper,  1894;  London,  Newnes,  1894. 
i5  THE  CASE-BOOK  OF  SHERLOCK  HOLMES;  London,  Murray,  1927;  New  York,  Doran, 
1927. 


XIV  INTRODUCTION 

The  story  opens  in  the  office  of  Mr.  Warm  [sic],  chief  of  police  of 
London.  Holmes  has  just  returned  from  handling  a  delicate  affair 
in  Italy,  and  Warm  brings  him  up  to  date  on  the  latest  development 
in  London  crime:  Jack  the  Ripper.  There  have  been  37  (!)  victims 
so  far  —  all  women. 

Holmes's  ancient  rival,  detective  Murphy,  enters  with  news  of  the 
38th  —  the  singer  Lilian  Bell.  After  a  crude  exchange  of  insults, 
Holmes  and  Murphy  agree  to  a  wager  as  to  who  will  catch  the  Ripper. 
The  stakes  are  ^1000,  to  which  Warm  adds  25  bottles  of  champagne 
for  the  winner. 

Next  we  see  the  bedroom  of  the  fair  Lilian,  with  her  disembowelled 
corpse  tastefully  arranged  amid  flowers  on  the  bed.  Her  maid,  Har- 
riette  Blunt,  is  disconsolate.  Her  brother,  Grover  Bell,  is  wondering 
about  her  will.  Josias  Wakefield,  representative  of  the  Requiescat  in 
Pace  Funeral  Directors,  calls  to  measure  the  body.  His  activities  are 
curious,  including  the  discovery  of  Lilian's  false  tooth  and  the  de- 
duction from  it  that  she  smoked  opium.  He  drops  his  magnifying 
glass  under  the  bed  and  there  finds  a  disguised  individual  whom  he 
recognizes  as  Murphy.  Murphy  clenches  his  fist  and  rages: 

"Man,  or  rather  devil,  I  know  you!  You  are  —  you  are  —  " 

"Sherlock  Holmes,  detective,  at  your  service,"  said  the  other  laugh- 
ing. And  vanished. 

Holmes  next  disguises  himself  as  an  opium  addict,  to  the  admiring 
amazement  of  his  assistant,  Harry  Taxon  (!),  and  slips  out  of  his 
house  to  keep  such  a  disreputable  masquerade  from  his  landlady, 
Mrs.  Bonnet  (!).  He  visits  an  opium  den  run  by  a  half-caste  Mrs.  Ca- 
jana,  secures  opium  from  her,  and  then  blackmails  her  for  informa- 
tion on  the  threat  of  exposing  her  racket.  He  learns  that  Lilian  Bell 
was  a  customer,  and  that  Mrs.  Cajana  gets  her  drugs  from  a  mysteri- 
ous person  known  to  her  only  as  "The  Indian  Doctor."  Suddenly  a 
scream  is  heard  from  the  next  room.  They  dash  in  and  find  a  beauti- 
ful damsel  with  her  belly  ripped  open.  Holmes  spies  the  Ripper 
escaping,  pursues  him,  but  the  Ripper  makes  good  his  flight  by  dar- 
ingly jumping  aboard  a  moving  train. 

Holmes  identifies  the  latest  (and  39th)  victim  by  her  custom-built 
shoes  as  Comtesse  de  Malmaison.  He  visits  her  father,  the  Marquis, 
a  harsh  old  gentleman  who  thinks  his  daughter's  death  served  her 
right  if  she  spent  her  time  in  opium  dens. 


INTRODUCTION  XV 

Holmes  questions  the  Comtesse's  maid.  She  tells  him  that  the 
Comtesse  used  the  opium  den  as  a  blind  —  to  cover  up  assignations 
with  her  American  riding  instructor,  Carlos  Lake. 

Holmes  grills  Lake  and  learns  that  the  only  other  person  who  knew 
of  this  arrangement  was  Dr.  Roberto  Fitzgerald,  a  prominent  and 
respectable  West  End  physician  of  Indian  antecedents,  who  had  made 
an  appointment  to  meet  the  Comtesse  at  Mrs.  Cajana's.  The  Doctor 
was  to  examine  the  Comtesse  for  a  contemplated  abortion. 

Holmes  shadows  the  Doctor's  wife  — 

"When  you  wish  to  learn  a  man's 
secrets,  you  must  follow  his  wife," 

and  witnesses  a  lover's  tryst  in  Hyde  Park  between  her  and  Captain 
Harry  Thomson.  He  overhears  Ruth  Fitzgerald,  the  Doctor's  wife, 
arrange  to  flee  from  her  brutal,  half-mad  husband  and  take  refuge 
with  her  lover's  mother. 

Holmes  then  disguises  himself  as  a  retired  soap  manufacturer 
named  Patrick  O'Connor,  calls  on  Dr.  Fitzgerald,  and  warns  him  of 
his  wife's  elopement.  The  Doctor  has  a  fit,  literally,  and  denounces 
all  the  tribe  of  Eve  as  serpents  that  must  be  destroyed.  He  has  a 
terrible  scene  with  Ruth,  after  which  he  quiets  himself  with  a  shot 
of  morphine. 

Holmes  next  disguises  himself  as  Ruth  Fitzgerald  (!)  — 

"Englishwomen  are  usually  slender  rather  than  full- 
fleshed,  and  their  stature  is  at  times  surprisingly  tall." 

He  manoeuvers  Ruth  away  from  her  rendezvous  and  saunters  along 
"with  that  special  gait  with  which  public  women  stroll  the  street." 

Dr.  Fitzgerald  comes  along  and  recognizes  "him." 

"My  wife  —  on  the  streets!" 

And  the  Ripper  emerges  full  blast.  He  attacks  Holmes  but  is 
frustrated;  the  detective  has  wisely  donned  a  steel  cuirasse. 

Meanwhile,  back  in  Warm's  office,  the  chief  of  police  is  listening 
to  Murphy's  report.  Holmes,  still  looking  like  a  loose  woman  (even 
more  so),  drags  in  Dr.  Fitzgerald,  and  Murphy  acknowledges  that 
he  has  lost  the  bet. 

Further  comment,  you'll  agree,  is  unnecessary. 


XVI  INTRODUCTION 

WE  HAVE  omitted  too  John  Chapman's  The  Unmasking  of  Sher- 
loc\  Holmes,  because  this  pastiche  is  devoted  primarily  to  subtle 
literary  criticism  rather  than  to  story.16  In  this  article  which  appeared 
in  "The  Critic,"  issue  of  February  1905,  Mr.  Chapman  reports  an 
imaginary  conversation  between  the  two  greatest  detectives  in  print 
—  C.  Auguste  Dupin  and  Sherlock  Holmes. 

Dupin,  appearing  suddenly  in  the  rooms  on  Baker  Street,  strikes 
terror  into  the  heart  of  Holmes,  who  looked  "at  the  little  Frenchman 
on  the  threshold  as  if  M.  Dupin  had  been  a  ghost."  Dupin  accuses 
Holmes  of  filching  "the  product  of  another's  brain  and  palming  it 
off  as  his  own." 

Holmes  admits  that  "it  looks  like  a  bad  case  against  me.  I've  drawn 
freely  upon  you,  M.  Dupin."  And  Dupin,  with  a  last  admonition  to 
Holmes  not  to  overwork  the  exaggerated  reports  of  his  death,  van- 
ishes, leaving  Holmes  as  shamefaced  as  a  schoolboy  caught  with 
stolen  apples. 

The  debt  Holmes  owed  to  Dupin  —  rather,  that  Doyle  owed  to 
Poe  —  is  not  a  moot  point.  The  first  person  to  admit  it  was  Sir 
Arthur  Conan  Doyle  himself.  In  his  Preface  to  the  Author's  Edition 
of  1903  (comparatively  unknown  in  the  United  States),  Doyle 
frankly  revealed  this  indebtedness  when,  like  the  great  and  true 
gentleman  he  was,  he  stated  that  "Edgar  Allan  Poe  was  the  father 
of  the  detective  tale,  and  covered  its  limits  so  completely  that  I  fail 
to  see  how  his  followers  can  find  any  fresh  ground  they  can  con- 
fidently call  their  own.  .  .  .  The  writer  sees  the  footmarks  of  Poe 
always  in  front  of  him.  ...  I  can  only  claim  the  very  limited  credit 
of  doing  it  from  a  fresh  model  and  from  a  new  point  of  view." 

But  it  is  to  Doyle's  everlasting  fame  that  while  he  took  up  where 
Poe  left  off,  his  "fresh  model"  of  the  immortal  Dupin  performed 
the  impossible  feat  of  achieving  even  greater  immortality. 

Further  omissions,  listed  for  the  benefit  of  those  who  have  a  pas- 
sion for  completeness,  include: 

16  A.  A.  Milne's  Dr.  Watson  Speaks  Out  is  omitted  for  the  same  reason.  This  classic 
review  of  an  omnibus  edition  of  Sherlock  Holmes  short  stories  was  written  as  if  by 
Dr.  Watson  himself  — -  and  at  long  last  the  good  doctor  defends  himself  and  "ex- 
poses" Sherlock.  First  appearance  in  "Nation  &  Athenaeum,"  issue  of  November  17, 
1928.  Later  included  in  the  author's  book  of  essays,  BY  WAY  OF  INTRODUCTION;  London, 
Mediuen,  1929;  New  York,  Dutton,  1929. 


INTRODUCTION  xvu 

James  L.  Ford's  The  Story  of  Bishop  Johnson,  in  "The  Pocket 
Magazine,"  issue  of  November  1895 

Allen  Upward's  The  Adventure  of  the  Stolen  Doormat,  a  parody 
of  a  certain  "criminal  specialist  in  Baker  Street"  who  stgned 
himself  H-LM-S,  in  the  author's  book,  THE  WONDERFUL  CAREER  OF 
EBENEZER  LOBE,  London,  Hurst  and  Blackett,  1900 
Charlton  Andrews's  The  Bound  of  the  Astorbilts  and  The  Re- 
sources of  Mycroft  Holmes,  in  "The  Bookman,"  issues  of 
1902  and  December  1903,  respectively 

J.  Alston  Cooper's  Dr.  Watson's  Wedding  Present,  in  "The 
Bookman,"  issue  of  February  1903 

George  F.  Forrest's  The  Adventure  of  the  Diamond  Necklace, 
in  MISFITS:  A  BOOK  OF  PARODIES,  Oxford,  Harvey,  1905,  featuring 
detective  Warlock  Bones  and  narrator  Goswell,  the  latter  name 
obviously  a  "switch"  on  Boswell  rather  than  on  Watson 
Robin  Dunbar's  Sherlock  Holmes  Up-to-Date,  a  socialistic  satire 
in  THE  DETECTIVE  BUSINESS,  Chicago,  Kerr,  1909 
Maurice  Baring's  From  the  Diary  of  Sherloc\  Holmes,  which 
first  appeared  in  "Eye-Witness"  (London),  November  23,  1911, 
then  in  "The  Living  Age"  (U.S.),  June  20,  1912,  and  finally  in 
the  author's  book,  LOST  DIARIES,  London,  Duckworth,  1913 
Cornelis  Veth's  DE  ALLERLAATSTE  AVONTUREN  VAN  SIR  SHERLOCK 
HOLMES  (THE  VERY  LAST  ADVENTURES  OF  SIR  SHERLOCK  HOLMES), 
Leiden,  1912  — a  book  of  parodies  containing  The  Moving  Pic- 
ture Theatre,  The  Adventure  of  the  Bloody  Post  Parcel,  The 
Adventure  of  the  Singular  Advertisement,  and  The  Adventure 
of  the  Mysterious  Tom-Cat,  the  last  a  burlesque  of  THE  HOUND 
OF  THE  BASKERVILLES  changed  to  "The  Tom-Cat  of  the  Cooker- 
villes" 

James  Francis  Thierry's  THE  ADVENTURE  OF  THE  ELEVEN  CUFF- 
BUTTONS,  New  York,  Neale,  1918,  a  long  novelette  in  which 
Hemlock  Holmes  triumphs  over  Inspector  Letstrayed 
J.  Storer  Clouston's  The  Truthful  Lady,  a  parody  of  Dr.  Watson 
with  Sherlock  Holmes  present  only  in  spirit,  in  the  authors 
book,  CARRINGTON'S  CASES,  Edinburgh,  Blackwood,  1920 


XV1U  INTRODUCTION 

H.  F.  Heard's  A  TASTE  FOR  HONEY,  New  York,  Vanguard,  1941, 
and  REPLY  PAID,  New  York,  Vanguard,  1942,  in  which  the  name 
Sherlock  Holmes  is  never  mentioned;  but  the  detective,  who 
calls  himself  Mr.  Mycroft,  is  none  other  than  The  One  and  Only 
in  beekeeping  retirement 

THE  PUBLICATION  of  this  anthology  marks  the  first  time  the 
great  parodies  and  pastiches  of  that  "Extraordinary  Man,"  as  Mark 
Twain  affectionately  called  him,  have  been  collected  in  a  single 
volume. 

Why  no  one  thought  of  doing  it  before,  we  shall  never  understand. 
But  we  are  grateful  the  task  has  been  left  for  us.  Perhaps  it  was 
ordained  that  way  from  the  beginning,  by  Someone  who  looks  after 
twelve-year-old  boys;  perhaps  this  is  a  token-payment  for  the  mo- 
ment that,  early  or  late,  comes  only  once  in  a  lifetime. 

ELLERY  QUEEN 


CONTENTS 

INTRODUCTION  v 

PART  ONE:  BY  DETECTIVE-STORY  WRITERS 

1892    THE  GREAT  PEGRAM  MYSTERY 

by  Robert  Barr  3 

1907    HOLMLOCK  SHEARS  ARRIVES  Too  LATE 

by  Maurice  Leblanc  14 

1915    THE  ADVENTURE  OF  THE  CLOTHES-LINE 

by  Carolyn  Wells  39 

1920    THE  UNIQUE  HAMLET   by  Vincent  Starr ett  48 

1925    HOLMES  AND  THE  DASHER 

by  Anthony  Berkeley  66 

1929    THE  CASE  OF  THE  MISSING  LADY 

by  Agatha  Christie  70 

1942  THE  ADVENTURE  OF  THE  ILLUSTRIOUS  IMPOSTOR 

by  Anthony  Boucher 

1943  THE  DISAPPEARANCE  OF  MR.  JAMES  PHILLIMORE 

by  Ellery  Queen 

1943    THE  ADVENTURE  OF  THE  REMARKABLE  WORM 

by  Stuart  Palmer  108 


XX  CONTENTS 

PART  TWO:  BY  FAMOUS  LITERARY  FIGURES 

1893    THE  ADVENTURE  OF  THE  Two  COLLABORATORS 

by  Sir  James  M.  Barrie  119 

1902    A  DOUBLE-BARRELLED  DETECTIVE  STORY 

by  Mar\  Twain  123 

1902    THE  STOLEN  CIGAR  CASE 

by  Bret  Harte  164 

1911    THE  ADVENTURES  OF  SHAMROCK  JOLNES 

by  O.  Henry  175 


PART  THREE:  BY  HUMORISTS 

1893    THE  UMBROSA  BURGLARY 

by  R.  C.  Lehmann  185 

1897    THE  STRANGER  UNRAVELS  A  MYSTERY 

by  John  K.endric\  Bangs        190 

1903    SHYLOCK  HOMES:  His  POSTHUMOUS  MEMOIRS 

by  John  KendricJ^  Bangs        208 

1911    MADDENED  BY  MYSTERY  :  OR,  THE  DEFECTIVE  DETECTIVE 

by  Stephen  Leacoc]{  218 

1916    AN  IRREDUCIBLE  DETECTIVE  STORY 

by  Stephen  Leacocf^  227 


CONTENTS  XXI 

PART  FOUR:  BY  DEVOTEES  AND  OTHERS 

1894    THE  ADVENTURE  OF  THE  TABLE  FOOT 

by  Zero  (Allan  Ramsay}         231 

1894    THE  SIGN  OF  THE  "400" 

by  R.  K.  MunkittricJ^  235 

1907    OUR  MR.  SMITH  by  Oswald  Crawjurd  238 

1920    THE  FOOTPRINTS  ON  THE  CEILING 

by  Jules  Castier  245 

1927  THE  END  OF  SHERLOCK  HOLMES 

by  A.  E.  P.  256 

1928  THE  ADVENTURE  OF  THE  NORCROSS  RIDDLE 

by  August  Derleth  261 

1929  THE  MARY  QUEEN  OF  SCOTS  JEWEL 

by  William  O.  Fuller 

1932    THE  RUBY  OF  KHITMANDU 

by  Hugh  Kingsmill 

1932  His  LAST  SCRAPE:  OR,  HOLMES,  SWEET  HOLMES! 

by  Rachel  Ferguson 

1933  THE  ADVENTURE  OF  THE  MURDERED  ART  EDITOR 

by  Frederic  Dorr  Steele 

1933    THE  CANTERBURY  CATHEDRAL  MURDER 

by  Frederic  Arnold  Kummer 
and  Basil  Mitchell 


275 


291 


301 


306 


Ji     I  v  I*  \f  f  If  t*     4  J-t    I t'\sfiA'    •*•*-  vtnit>ii»\*i 

and  Basil  Mitchell  313 


CONTENTS 

1934  THE  CASE  OF  THE  MISSING  PATRIARCHS 

by  Logan  Clendening,  M.D.  330 

1935  THE  CASE  OF  THE  DIABOLICAL  PLOT 

by  Richard  Mallett  332 

1936  CHRISTMAS  EVE  by  S.  C.  Roberts  336 

1941    THE  MAN  WHO  WAS  NOT  DEAD 

by  Manly  Wade  Wellman      348 

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS  357 

BIBLIOGRAPHY  359 

INDEX  365 


HOLMES,  Sherlock;  b.  circa  1854,  grandson  of  sister  of  the  French  mili- 
tary fainter  Vernet,  younger  brother  of  Mycroft  Holmes.   Unmarried. 
Educ.  College  graduate,  irregular  student  in  chemical  and  anatomical 
classes  of  London   University  at  St.  Bartholomew's  Hospital,  London; 
while  a  student  devised  new  test  for  bloodstains,  replacing  old  guaiacum 
test,  through  reagent  precipitated  by  hemoglobin  and  no  other  substance; 
private  consultive  practice  begun  circa  7^77  and  continued  23  years;  after 
disappearance  and  reported  death,  May  i,  1891,  explored  Tibet  and  pene- 
trated Lhassa  as  a  Norwegian  named  Sigerson,  visiting  Persia,  Mecca  and 
Khartoum  before  returning  to  professional  practice  in  London,  April, 
1894,  to  complete  the  destruction  of  Professor  Monarty's  criminal  gang; 
retired  circa  7903  to  small  farm  upon  Sussex  Downs  five  miles  from  East- 
bourne, devoting  himself  to  bee-keeping  and  giving  up  professional  wor\ 
except  for  a  mysterious  mission  to  Shantung,  1914,  for  the  Admiralty,  clear- 
ing up  the  death  of  Fitzroy  McPherson,  and  a  German  espionage  case, 
1912-1914,  which  caused  him  to  reside  at  various  times  in  Chicago,  Buffalo 
and  Sfobbareen,  Ireland,  under  the  name  Altamont;  received  Congres- 
sional Medal  for  services  to  U.  S.  Government  in  so-called  "Adventure 
of  the  American  Ambassador  and  the  Thermite  Bullet";  diamond  sword 
from  King  Albert  of  Belgium,  1916;  and  Versailles  Plaque  (with  palms}. 
Club:  Diogenes.  Author:  Monographs,  "Upon  the  Typewriter  and  Its 
Relation  to  Crime';  "Upon  the  Distinction  Between  the  Ashes  of  the 
Various  Tobaccos  — 140  Forms  of  Cigar,  Cigarette  and  Pipe  Tobaccos," 
ill.  with  colored  plates;  "Upon  the  Influence  of  a  Trade  on  the  Form  of  a 
Hand,"  ill.  with  lithotypes;  "Upon  the  Tracing  of  Footsteps";  "Upon  the 
Dating  of  Documents";  "Upon  Tattoo  Mar^s";  "Upon  the  Polyphonic 
Motets  of  Lassus"  and  "Upon  Variations  in  the  Human  Ear"  (two  issues 
of  "The  Anthropological  Journal");  two  short  accounts  of  cases:  "The 
Adventure  of  the  Blanched  Soldier"  and  "The  Adventure  of  the  Lion's 
Mane";  "The  Boo^  of  Life"  a  magazine  article  on  the  theory  of  deduc- 
tion, published  anonymously,  "Practical  Handbook,  of  Bee  Culture  with 
Some  Observations  on  the  Segregation  of  the  Queen."  Assistant  and  nar- 
rator: Dr.  John  H.  Watson.  For  celebrated  cases  see:  A  STUDY  IN  SCARLET 

(1887);  THE  SIGN  OF  [THE]  FOUR  (1890);  THE  ADVENTURES  OF  SHERLOCK 
HOLMES  (1892);  MEMOIRS  OF  SHERLOCK  HOLMES  (1894);  THE  HOUND  OF  THE 
BASKERVILLES  (1902);  THE  RETURN  OF  SHERLOCK  HOLMES  (1905);  THE  VAL- 
LEY OF  FEAR  (1915);  HIS  LAST  BOW  (1917);  THE  CASE-BOOK  OF  SHERLOCK 

HOLMES  (1927).  Hobbies:  The  violin,  medieval  music,  boxing,  fencing, 
bee-keeping,  snapshooting  and  criminal  law.  Indulgences:  cocaine,  mor- 
phine and  shag  tobacco.  Residences:  Montague  Street,  near  the  British 
Museum,  London  till  1881;  22iB  Ba^er  St.,  London  till  1903,  Sussex  and, 

later,  Devonshire. 

Prepared  by  KENNETH  MACGOWAN 


PART  ONE: 


BY   DETECTIVE-STORY   WRITERS 

"Though  he  might  be  more  humble,  there's  no 

police  like  Holmes." 

—  E.  W.  HORNUNG 


Detective:  SHERLAW  KOMBS  Narrator:  WHATSON 

THE    GREAT   PEGRAM   MYSTERY 

by  ROBERT  BARR 


Here  is  one  of  the  earliest  —  and  still,  in  your  Editors'  opinion, 
one  of  the  finest  —  parodies  of  Sherlock^  Holmes.  It  appeared 
less  than  a  year  after  the  publication  of  the  first  Sherloc^  Holmes 
short  story. 

"The  Great  Pegram  Mystery"  has  an  interesting  bibliographic 
history.  It  broke  into  print  in  the  May  1892  issue  of  "The  Idler 
Magazine"  (London  and  New  Yorf(),  edited  —  do  you  remem- 
ber? —  by  Jerome  K.  Jerome  and  Robert  Barr.  Originally  it 
was  called  "Detective  Stories  Gone  Wrong:  The  Adventures  of 
Sherlaw  Kombs,"  and  was  signed  by  the  pen-name  of  Lu\e 
Sharp.  Two  years  later,  under  its  present  title,  it  appeared  in 
Robert  Barr's  boot^  of  short  stories,  THE  FACE  AND  THE  MASK 
(London,  Hutchinson,  189^;  New  Yor^,  Stores,  7895)  — and 
thus  the  true  authorship  was  acknowledged. 

Mr.  Barr's  parody  reveals  a  shrewd  grasp  of  the  character 
of  Sherloc/^  Holmes  and  an  equally  penetrating  comprehension 
of  Sir  Arthur  Conan  Doyle's  style.  You  will  recognize  the 
inexorable  sequence  of  idiosyncrasies  and  events  —  the  violin, 
the  contempt  for  Scotland  Yard,  the  anticipated  visitor,  the 
extraordinary  deductions,  and  the  minute  examination  of  the 
scene  of  the  crime  by  magnifying  glass.  Alas!  only  the  solution 
fails  to  follow  the  time-honored  pattern! 

It  is  especially  fitting  that  Mr.  Barr's  burlesque  be  the  chrono- 
logical leader  in  our  Pageant  of  Parodies.  For  Mr.  Barr  made 
his  indelible  mar\  in  serious  detective  fiction  too.  His  histori- 
cally important  booJ^,  THE  TRIUMPHS  OF  EUGENE  VALMONT  (Lon- 
don, Hurst  &  Blac\ett,  7906;  New  YorJ^,  Appleton,  1906),  gave 
us  "The  Absent-Minded  Coterie"  one  of  the  truly  great  clas- 
sics among  detective  short  stories. 


THE    GREAT    PEGRAM    MYSTERY 


I 


_  DROPPED  in  on  my  friend,  Sherlaw  Kombs,  to  hear  what  he  had 
to  say  about  the  Pegram  mystery,  as  it  had  come  to  be  called  in  the 
newspapers.  I  found  him  playing  the  violin  with  a  look  of  sweet 
peace  and  serenity  on  his  face,  which  I  never  noticed  on  the  coun- 
tenances of  those  within  hearing  distance.  I  knew  this  expression  of 
seraphic  calm  indicated  that  Kombs  had  been  deeply  annoyed  about 
something.  Such,  indeed,  proved  to  be  the  case,  for  one  of  the  morning 
papers  had  contained  an  article  eulogizing  the  alertness  and  general 
competence  of  Scotland  Yard.  So  great  was  Sherlaw  Kombs's  con- 
tempt for  Scotland  Yard  that  he  never  would  visit  Scotland  during 
his  vacations,  nor  would  he  ever  admit  that  a  Scotchman  was  fit 
for  anything  but  export. 

He  generously  put  away  his  violin,  for  he  had  a  sincere  liking  for 
me,  and  greeted  me  with  his  usual  kindness. 

"I  have  come,"  I  began,  plunging  at  once  into  the  matter  on  my 
mind,  "to  hear  what  you  think  of  the  great  Pegram  mystery." 

"I  haven't  heard  of  it,"  he  said  quietly,  just  as  if  all  London  were 
not  talking  of  that  very  thing.  Kombs  was  curiously  ignorant  on 
some  subjects,  and  abnormally  learned  on  others.  I  found,  for  in- 
stance, that  political  discussion  with  him  was  impossible,  because 
he  did  not  know  who  Salisbury  and  Gladstone  were.  This  made  his 
friendship  a  great  boon. 
"The  Pegram  mystery  has  baffled  even  Gregory,  of  Scotland 

Yard." 

"I  can  well  believe  it,"  said  my  friend,  calmly.  "Perpetual  motion, 
or  squaring  the  circle,  would  baffle  Gregory.  He's  an  infant,  is 

Gregory." 

This  was  one  of  the  things  I  always  liked  about  Kombs. 
was  no  professional  jealousy  in  him,  such  as  characterizes  so  many 

other  men. 

He  filled  his  pipe,  threw  himself  into  his  deep-seated  arm-chair, 
placed  his  feet  on  the  mantel,  and  clasped  his  hands  behind  his 

head. 

"Tell  me  about  it,"  he  said  simply. 

"Old  Barrie  Kipson,"  I  began,  "was  a  stock-broker  in  the  City. 
He  lived  in  Pegram,  and  it  was  his  custom  to  —  " 


THE    GREAT    PEGRAM    MYSTERY  5 

"CoME  IN!"  shouted  Kombs,  without  changing  his  position,  but 
with  a  suddenness  that  startled  me.  I  had  heard  no  knock. 

"Excuse  me,"  said  my  friend,  laughing,  "my  invitation  to  enter 
was  a  trifle  premature.  I  was  really  so  interested  in  your  recital  that 
I  spoke  before  I  thought,  which  a  detective  should  never  do.  The  fact 
is,  a  man  will  be  here  in  a  moment  who  will  tell  me  all  about  diis 
crime,  and  so  you  will  be  spared  further  effort  in  that  line." 

"Ah,  you  have  an  appointment.  In  that  case  I  will  not  intrude," 
I  said,  rising. 

"Sit  down;  I  have  no  appointment.  I  did  not  know  until  I  spoke 
that  he  was  coming." 

I  gazed  at  him  in  amazement.  Accustomed  as  I  was  to  his  ex- 
traordinary talents,  the  man  was  a  perpetual  surprise  to  me.  He  con- 
tinued to  smoke  quietly,  but  evidently  enjoyed  my  consternation. 

"I  see  you  are  surprised.  It  is  really  too  simple  to  talk  about,  but, 
from  my  position  opposite  die  mirror,  I  can  see  die  reflection  of 
objects  in  the  street.  A  man  stopped,  looked  at  one  of  my  cards,  and 
then  glanced  across  die  street.  I  recognized  my  card,  because,  as  you 
know,  they  are  all  in  scarlet.  If,  as  you  say,  London  is  talking  of 
this  mystery,  it  naturally  follows  diat  he  will  talk  of  it,  and  the 
chances  are  he  wished  to  consult  with  me  upon  it.  Anyone  can  see 
that,  besides  there  is  always  —  Come  in!" 

There  was  a  rap  at  the  door  diis  time. 

A  stranger  entered.  Sherlaw  Kombs  did  not  change  his  lounging 
attitude. 

"I  wish  to  see  Mr.  Sherlaw  Kombs,  the  detective,"  said  the  stranger, 
coming  within  the  range  of  the  smoker's  vision. 

"This  is  Mr.  Kombs,"  I  remarked  at  last,  as  my  friend  smoked 
quietly,  and  seemed  half-asleep. 

"Allow  me  to  introduce  myself,"  continued  the  stranger,  fumbling 
for  a  card. 

"There  is  no  need.  You  are  a  journalist,"  said  Kombs. 

"Ah,"  said  the  stranger,  somewhat  taken  aback,  "you  know  me, 
then." 

"Never  saw  or  heard  of  you  in  my  life  before." 

"Then  how  in  the  world  — 

"Nothing  simpler.  You  write  for  an  evening  paper.  You  have 
written  an  article  condemning  the  book  of  a  friend.  He  will  feel  bad 


6  THE    GREAT    PEGRAM    MYSTERY 

about  it,  and  you  will  condole  with  him.  He  will  never  know  who 
stabbed  him  unless  I  tell  him." 

"The  devil!"  cried  the  journalist,  sinking  into  a  chair  and  mopping 
his  brow,  while  his  face  became  livid. 

"Yes,"  drawled  Kombs,  "it  is  a  devil  of  a  shame  that  such  things 
are  done.  But  what  would  you,  as  we  say  in  France." 

When  the  journalist  had  recovered  his  second  wind  he  pulled 
himself  together  somewhat.  "Would  you  object  to  telling  me  how 
you  know  these  particulars  about  a  man  you  say  you  have  never 
seen?" 

"I  rarely  talk  about  these  things,"  said  Kombs  with  great  com- 
posure. "But  as  the  cultivation  of  the  habit  of  observation  may  help 
you  in  your  profession,  and  thus  in  a  remote  degree  benefit  me 
by  making  your  paper  less  deadly  dull,  I  will  tell  you.  Your  first 
and  second  fingers  are  smeared  with  ink,  which  shows  that  you 
write  a  great  deal.  This  smeared  class  embraces  two  subclasses,  clerks 
or  accountants,  and  journalists.  Clerks  have  to  be  neat  in  their  work, 
The  ink  smear  is  slight  in  their  case.  Your  fingers  are  badly  and 
carelessly  smeared;  therefore,  you  are  a  journalist.  You  have  an 
evening  paper  in  your  pocket.  Anyone  might  have  any  evening 
paper,  but  yours  is  a  Special  Edition,  which  will  not  be  on  the  street? 
for  half  an  hour  yet.  You  must  have  obtained  it  before  you  left  the 
office,  and  to  do  this  you  must  be  on  the  staff.  A  book  notice  is  marked 
with  a  blue  pencil.  A  journalist  always  despises  every  article  in  hi; 
own  paper  not  written  by  himself;  therefore,  you  wrote  the  artick 
you  have  marked,  and  doubtless  are  about  to  send  it  to  the  author  oi 
the  book  referred  to.  Your  paper  makes  a  speciality  of  abusing  al 
books  not  written  by  some  member  of  its  own  staff.  That  the  authoi 
is  a  friend  of  yours,  I  merely  surmised.  It  is  all  a  trivial  example  oi 
ordinary  observation." 

"Really,  Mr.  Kombs,  you  are  the  most  wonderful  man  on  earth 
You  are  the  equal  of  Gregory,  by  Jove,  you  are." 

A  frown  marred  the  brow  of  my  friend  as  he  placed  his  pipe  or 
the  sideboard  and  drew  his  self-cocking .  six-shooter. 

"Do  you  mean  to  insult  me,  sir?" 

"I  do  not  —  I  —  I  assure  you.  You  are  fit  to  take  charge  of  Scotlanc 
Yard  to-morrow  —  I  am  in  earnest,  indeed  I  am,  sir." 


THE    GREAT    PEGRAM    MYSTERY  7 

"Then  heaven  help  you,"  cried  Kombs,  slowly  raising  his  right 
arm. 

I  sprang  between  them. 

"Don't  shoot!"  I  cried.  "You  will  spoil  the  carpet.  Besides,  Sherlaw, 
don't  you  see  the  man  means  well.  He  actually  thinks  it  is  a  compli- 
ment!" 

"Perhaps  you  are  right,"  remarked  the  detective,  flinging  his  re- 
volver carelessly  beside  his  pipe,  much  to  the  relief  of  the  third  party. 
Then,  turning  to  the  journalist,  he  said,  with  his  customary  bland 
courtesy  — 

"You  wanted  to  see  me,  I  think  you  said.  What  can  I  do  for  you, 
Mr.  Wilber  Scribbings?" 

The  journalist  started. 

"How  do  you  know  my  name?"  he  gasped. 

Kombs  waved  his  hand  impatiently. 

"Look  inside  your  hat  if  you  doubt  your  own  name." 

I  then  noticed  for  the  first  time  that  the  name  was  plainly  to  be 
seen  inside  the  top-hat  Scribbings  held  upside  down  in  his  hands. 

"You  have  heard,  of  course,  of  the  Pegram  mystery  — " 

"Tush,"  cried  the  detective;  "do  not,  I  beg  of  you,  call  it  a  mystery. 
There  is  no  such  thing.  Life  would  become  more  tolerable  if  there 
ever  was  a  mystery.  Nothing  is  original.  Everything  has  been  done 
before.  What  about  the  Pegram  affair?" 

"The  Pegram  —  ah  —  case  has  baffled  everyone.  The  Evening 
Blade  wishes  you  to  investigate,  so  that  it  may  publish  the  result.  It 
will  pay  you  well.  Will  you  accept  the  commission?" 

"Possibly.  Tell  me  about  the  case." 

"I  thought  everybody  knew  the  particulars.  Mr.  Barrie  Kipson 
lived  at  Pegram.  He  carried  a  first-class  season  ticket  between  the 
terminus  and  that  station.  It  was  his  custom  to  leave  for  Pegram  on 
the  5.30  train  each  evening.  Some  weeks  ago,  Mr.  Kipson  was  brought 
down  by  the  influenza.  On  his  first  visit  to  the  City  after  his 
recovery,  he  drew  something  like  ^300  in  notes,  and  left  the  office 
at  his  usual  hour  to  catch  the  5.30.  He  was  never  seen  again  alive, 
as  far  as  the  public  have  been  able  to  learn.  He  was  found  at  Brewster 
in  a  first-class  compartment  on  the  Scotch  Express,  which  does  not 
stop  between  London  and  Brewster.  There  was  a  bullet  in  his  head, 


8  THE    GREAT    PEGRAM    MYSTERY 

and  his  money  was  gone,  pointing  plainly  to  murder  and  robbery." 

"And  where  is  the  mystery,  might  I  ask?" 

"There  are  several  unexplainable  things  about  the  case.  First, 
how  came  he  on  the  Scotch  Express,  which  leaves  at  six,  and  does 
not  stop  at  Pegram?  Second,  the  ticket  examiners  at  the  terminus 
would  have  turned  him  out  if  he  showed  his  season  ticket;  and  all 
the  tickets  sold  for  the  Scotch  Express  on  the  21  st  are  accounted  for. 
Third,  how  could  the  murderer  have  escaped  ?  Fourth,  the  passengers 
in  two  compartments  on  each  side  of  the  one  where  the  body  was 
found  heard  no  scuffle  and  no  shot  fired." 

"Are  you  sure  the  Scotch  Express  on  the  2ist  did  not  stop  between 
London  and  Brewster?" 

"Now  that  you  mention  the  fact,  it  did.  It  was  stopped  by  signal 
just  outside  of  Pegram.  There  was  a  few  moments'  pause,  when  the 
line  was  reported  clear,  and  it  went  on  again.  This  frequently  hap- 
pens, as  there  is  a  branch  line  beyond  Pegram." 

Mr.  Sherlaw  Kombs  pondered  for  a  few  moments,  smoking  his 
pipe  silently. 

"I  presume  you  wish  the  solution  in  time  for  to-morrow's  paper?" 

"Bless  my  soul,  no.  The  editor  thought  if  you  evolved  a  theory 
in  a  month  you  would  do  well." 

"My  dear  sir,  I  do  not  deal  with  theories,  but  with  facts.  If  you  can 
make  it  convenient  to  call  here  to-morrow  at  8  A.M.  I  will  give  you  the 
full  particulars  early  enough  for  the  first  edition.  There  is  no  sense  in 
taking  up  much  time  over  so  simple  an  affair  as  the  Pegram  case. 
Good  afternoon,  sir." 

Mr.  Scribbings  was  too  much  astonished  to  return  the  greeting.  He 
left  in  a  speechless  condition,  and  I  saw  him  go  up  the  street  with 
his  hat  still  in  his  hand. 

Sherlaw  Kombs  relapsed  into  his  old  lounging  attitude,  with  his 
hands  clasped  behind  his  head.  The  smoke  came  from  his  lips  in 
quick  puffs  at  first,  then  at  longer  intervals.  I  saw  he  was  coming  to 
a  conclusion,  so  I  said  nothing. 

Finally  he  spoke  in  his  most  dreamy  manner.  "I  do  not  wish  to  seem 
to  be  rushing  things  at  all,  Whatson,  but  I  am  going  out  to-night  on 
the  Scotch  Express.  Would  you  care  to  accompany  me?" 

"Bless  me!"  I  cried,  glancing  at  the  clock.  "You  haven't  time,  it 
is  after  five  now." 


THE    GREAT    PEGRAM    MYSTERY  9 

"Ample  time,  Whatson  —  ample,"  he  murmured,  without  chang- 
ing his  position.  "I  give  myself  a  minute  and  a  half  to  change  slippers 
and  dressing-gown  for  boots  and  coat,  three  seconds  for  hat,  twenty- 
five  seconds  to  the  street,  forty-two  seconds  waiting  for  a  hansom, 
and  then  seven  minutes  at  the  terminus  before  the  express  starts.  I 
shall  be  glad  of  your  company." 

I  was  only  too  happy  to  have  the  privilege  of  going  with  him.  It 
was  most  interesting  to  watch  the  workings  of  so  inscrutable  a  mind. 
As  we  drove  under  the  lofty  iron  roof  of  the  terminus  I  noticed 
a  look  of  annoyance  pass  over  his  face. 

"We  are  fifteen  seconds  ahead  of  our  time,"  he  remarked,  looking 
at  the  big  clock.  "I  dislike  having  a  miscalculation  of  that  sort  occur." 

The  great  Scotch  Express  stood  ready  for  its  long  journey.  The 
detective  tapped  one  of  the  guards  on  the  shoulder. 

"You  have  heard  of  the  so-called  Pegram  mystery,  I  presume?" 

"Certainly,  sir.  It  happened  on  this  very  train,  sir." 

"Really?  Is  the  same  carriage  still  on  the  train?" 

"Well,  yes,  sir,  it  is,"  replied  the  guard,  lowering  his  voice,  "but  of 
course,  sir,  we  have  to  keep  very  quiet  about  it.  People  wouldn't 
travel  in  it,  else,  sir." 

"Doubtless.  Do  you  happen  to  know  if  anybody  occupies  the  com- 
partment in  which  the  body  was  found?" 

"A  lady  and  gentleman,  sir;  I  put  'em  in  myself,  sir." 

"Would  you  further  oblige  me,"  said  the  detective,  deftly  slipping 
half  a  sovereign  into  the  hand  of  the  guard,  "by  going  to  the  window 
and  informing  them  in  an  offhand  casual  sort  of  way  that  the  tragedy 
took  place  in  that  compartment?" 

"Certainly,  sir." 

We  followed  the  guard,  and  the  moment  he  had  imparted  his 
news  there  was  a  suppressed  scream  in  the  carriage.  Instantly  a  lady 
came  out,  followed  by  a  florid-faced  gentleman,  who  scowled  at  the 
guard.  We  entered  the  now  empty  compartment,  and  Kombs  said: 

"We  would  like  to  be  alone  here  until  we  reach  Brewster." 

"I'll  see  to  that,  sir,"  answered  the  guard,  locking  the  door. 

When  the  official  moved  away,  I  asked  my  friend  what  he  expected 
to  find  in  the  carriage  that  would  cast  any  light  on  the  case. 

"Nothing,"  was  his  brief  reply. 

"Then  why  do  you  come?" 


I0  THE    GREAT    PEGRAM    MYSTERY 

"Merely  to  corroborate  the  conclusions  I  have  already  arrived  at." 

"And  might  I  ask  what  those  conclusions  are?" 

"Certainly,"  replied  the  detective,  with  a  touch  of  lassitude  in  his 
voice.  "I  beg  to  call  your  attention,  first,  to  the  fact  that  this  train 
stands  between  two  platforms,  and  can  be  entered  from  either  side. 
Any  man  familiar  with  the  station  for  years  would  be  aware  of  that 
fact.  This  shows  how  Mr.  Kipson  entered  the  train  just  before  it 

started." 

"But  the  door  on  this  side  is  locked,"  I  objected,  trying  it. 

"Of  course.  But  every  season  ticket  holder  carries  a  key.  This  ac- 
counts for  the  guard  not  seeing  him,  and  for  the  absence  of  a  ticket. 
Now  let  me  give  you  some  information  about  the  influenza.  The 
patient's  temperature  rises  several  degrees  above  normal,  and  he  has 
a  fever.  When  the  malady  has  run  its  course,  the  temperature  falls  to 
three  quarters  of  a  degree  below  normal.  These  facts  are  unknown  to 
you,  I  imagine,  because  you  are  a  doctor." 

I  admitted  such  was  the  case. 

"Well,  the  consequence  of  this  fall  in  temperature  is  that  the 
convalescent's  mind  turns  towards  thoughts  of  suicide.  Then  is  the 
time  he  should  be  watched  by  his  friends.  Then  was  the  time 
Mr.  Barrie  Kipson's  friends  did  not  watch  him.  You  remember 
the  2ist,  of  course.  No?  It  was  a  most  depressing  day.  Fog  all  around 
and  mud  under  foot.  Very  good.  He  resolves  on  suicide.  He  wishes 
to  be  unidentified,  if  possible,  but  forgets  his  season  ticket.  My  ex- 
perience is  that  a  man  about  to  commit  a  crime  always  forgets  some- 
thing." 

"But  how  do  you  account  for  the  disappearance  ot  the  money.-' 

"The  money  has  nothing  to  do  with  the  matter.  If  he  was  a  deep 
man,  and  knew  the  stupidness  of  Scotland  Yard,  he  probably  sent 
the  notes  to  an  enemy.  If  not,  they  may  have  been  given  to  a  friend. 
Nothing  is  more  calculated  to  prepare  the  mind  for  self-destruction 
than  the  prospect  of  a  night  ride  on  the  Scotch  Express,  and  the  view 
from  the  windows  of  the  train  as  it  passes  through  the  northern  part 
of  London  is  particularly  conducive  to  thoughts  of  annihilation." 
"What  became  of  the  weapon?" 

"That  is  just  the  point  on  which  I  wish  to  satisfy  myself.  Excuse 
me  for  a  moment." 
Mr.  Sherlaw  Kombs  drew  down  the  window  on  the  right-hand 


THE    GREAT    PEGRAM    MYSTERY  II 

side,  and  examined  the  top  of  the  casing  minutely  with  a  magnifying 
glass.  Presently  he  heaved  a  sigh  of  relief,  and  drew  up  the  sash. 

"Just  as  I  expected,"  he  remarked,  speaking  more  to  himself  than 
to  me.  "There  is  a  slight  dent  on  the  top  of  the  window  frame.  It  is  of 
such  a  nature  as  to  be  made  only  by  the  trigger  of  a  pistol  falling  from 
the  nerveless  hand  of  a  suicide.  He  intended  to  throw  the  weapon 
far  out  of  the  window,  but  had  not  the  strength.  It  might  have 
fallen  into  the  carriage.  As  a  matter  of  fact,  it  bounced  away  from  the 
line  and  lies  among  the  grass  about  ten  feet  six  inches  from  the  out- 
side rail.  The  only  question  that  now  remains  is  where  the  deed  was 
committed,  and  the  exact  present  position  of  the  pistol  reckoned  in 
miles  from  London,  but  that,  fortunately,  is  too  simple  even  to  need 
explanation." 

"Great  heavens,  Sherlaw!"  I  cried.  "How  can  you  call  that  simple? 
It  seems  to  me  impossible  to  compute." 

We  were  now  flying  over  northern  London,  and  the  great  detective 
leaned  back  with  every  sign  of  ennui,  closing  his  eyes.  At  last  he 
spoke  wearily: 

"It  is  really  too  elementary,  Whatson,  but  I  am  always  willing  to 
oblige  a  friend.  I  shall  be  relieved,  however,  when  you  are  able  to 
work  out  the  A  B  C  of  detection  for  yourself,  although  I  shall  never 
object  to  helping  you  with  the  words  of  more  than  three  syllables. 
Having  made  up  his  mind  to  commit  suicide,  Kipson  naturally  in- 
tended to  do  it  before  he  reached  Brewster,  because  tickets  are  again 
examined  at  that  point.  When  the  train  began  to  stop  at  the  signal 
near  Pegram,  he  came  to  the  false  conclusion  that  it  was  stopping  at 
Brewster.  The  fact  that  the  shot  was  not  heard  is  accounted  for  by 
the  screech  of  the  air-brake,  added  to  the  noise  of  the  train.  Probably 
the  whistle  was  also  sounding  at  the  same  moment.  The  train  being 
a  fast  express  would  stop  as  near  the  signal  as  possible.  The  air-brake 
will  stop  a  train  in  twice  its  own  length.  Call  it  three  times  in  this 
case.  Very  well.  At  three  times  the  length  of  this  train  from  the  signal- 
post  towards  London,  deducting  half  the  length  of  the  train,  as  this 
carriage  is  in  the  middle,  you  will  find  the  pistol." 

"Wonderful!"  I  exclaimed. 

"Commonplace,"  he  murmured. 

At  this  moment  the  whistle  sounded  shrilly,  and  we  felt  the  grind 
of  the  air-brakes. 


!2  THE    GREAT    PEGRAM    MYSTERY 

"The  Pegram  signal  again,"  cried  Kombs,  with  something  almost 
like  enthusiasm.  "This  is  indeed  luck.  We  will  get  out  here,  Whatson, 
and  test  the  matter." 

As  the  train  stopped,  we  got  out  on  the  right-hand  side  of  the  line. 
The  engine  stood  panting  impatiently  under  the  red  light,  which 
changed  to  green  as  I  looked  at  it.  As  the  train  moved  on  with  in- 
creasing speed,  the  detective  counted  the  carriages,  and  noted  down 
the  number.  It  was  now  dark,  with  the  thin  crescent  of  the  moon 
hanging  in  the  western  sky  throwing  a  weird  half-light  on  the  shining 
metals.  The  rear  lamps  of  the  train  disappeared  around  a  curve,  and 
the  signal  stood  at  baleful  red  again.  The  black  magic  of  the  lone- 
some night  in  that  strange  place  impressed  me,  but  the  detective  was 
a  most  practical  man.  He  placed  his  back  against  the  signal-post, 
and  paced  up  the  line  with  even  strides,  counting  his  steps.  I  walked 
along  the  permanent  way  beside  him  silently.  At  last  he  stopped,  and 
took  a  tape-line  from  his  pocket.  He  ran  it  out  until  the  ten  feet  six 
inches  were  unrolled,  scanning  the  figures  in  the  wan  light  of  the 
new  moon.  Giving  me  the  end,  he  placed  his  knuckles  on  the  metals, 
motioning  me  to  proceed  down  the  embankment.  I  stretched  out 
the  line,  and  then  sank  my  hand  in  the  damp  grass  to  mark  the  spot. 

"Good  God!"  I  cried,  aghast.  "What  is  this?" 

"It  is  the  pistol,"  said  Kombs  quietly. 

It  was! 

Journalistic  London  will  not  soon  forget  the  sensation  that  was 
caused  by  the  record  of  the  investigations  of  Sherlaw  Kombs,  as 
printed  at  length  in  the  next  day's  Evening  Blade.  Would  that  my 
story  ended  here.  Alas!  Kombs  contemptuously  turned  over  the  pistol 
to  Scotland  Yard.  The  meddlesome  officials,  actuated,  as  I  always 
hold,  by  jealousy,  found  the  name  of  the  seller  upon  it.  They  in- 
vestigated. The  seller  testified  that  it  had  never  been  in  the  possession 
of  Mr.  Kipson,  as  far  as  he  knew.  It  was  sold  to  a  man  whose 
description  tallied  with  that  of  a  criminal  long  watched  by  the  police. 
He  was  arrested,  and  turned  Queen's  evidence  in  the  hope  of  hang- 
ing his  pal.  It  seemed  that  Mr.  Kipson,  who  was  a  gloomy,  taciturn 
man,  and  usually  came  home  in  a  compartment  by  himself,  thus 
escaping  observation,  had  been  murdered  in  the  lane  leading  to  his 
house.  After  robbing  him,  the  miscreants  turned  their  thoughts 


THE    GREAT    PEGRAM    MYSTERY  13 

towards  the  disposal  of  the  body  —  a  subject  that  always  occupies  a 
first-class  criminal  mind  after  the  deed  is  done.  They  agreed  to 
place  it  on  the  line,  and  have  it  mangled  by  the  Scotch  Express,  then 
nearly  due.  Before  they  got  the  body  half-way  up  the  embankment 
the  express  came  along  and  stopped.  The  guard  got  out  and  walked 
along  the  other  side  to  speak  with  the  engineer.  The  thought  of  put- 
ting the  body  into  an  empty  first-class  carriage  instantly  occurred  to 
the  murderers.  They  opened  the  door  with  the  deceased's  key.  It  is 
supposed  that  the  pistol  dropped  when  they  were  hoisting  the  body 
in  the  carriage. 

The  Queen's  evidence  dodge  didn't  work,  and  Scotland  Yard 
ignobly  insulted  my  friend  Sherlaw  Kombs  by  sending  him  a  pass 
to  see  the  villains  hanged. 


Detective:  HOLMLQCK  SHEARS 


HOLMLOCK   SHEARS   ARRIVES 

TOO  LATE 

by  MAURICE  LEBLANC 


Maurice  Leblanc,  creator  of  Arsene  Lupin,  conceived  the  bril- 
liant idea  of  pitting  his  master  rogue  against  the  world's  greatest 
detective.  The  opening  skirmish  occurred  in  the  last  story  of 
THE  EXPLOITS  OF  ARSENE  LUPIN  (New  Yort(,  Harper,  7907).  It 
is  this  tale —  "Holmloc\  Shears  Arrives  Too  Late'  -that  we 
now  bring  you.  Happily  for  posterity,  Holmloc{  Shears  did 
not  arrive  too  late! 

Readers  may  be  curious  to  \now  the  farther  development  of 
this  epic  conflict  —  Holmes  vs.  Lupin,  The  second  duel,  as- 
suming grander  proportions,  required  a  full-length  novel  to 
recount  all  the  delicious  details.  This  novel  appeared  in  Eng- 
land as  THE  FAIR-HAIRED  LADY  (London,  Richards,  1909),  was 
almost  immediately  retitled  ARSENE  LUPIN  VERSUS  HOLMLOCK 
SHEARS  (London,  Richards,  1909),  and  was  reincarnated  in  the 
United  States  as  THE  BLONDE  LADY  (New  Yor\,  Doubleday, 

Page,  79/0). 

Of  the  final  page  in  this  boo\,  T.  S.  Eliot,  the  famous  poet, 
has  as{ed:  "What  greater  compliment  could  France  pay  to 
England  than  the  scene  in  which  the  great  antagonists,  Holmes 
and  Lupin,  are  lying  side  by  side  on  dec^-chairs  on  the  Calais- 
Dover  paquebot,  and  the  London  Commissioner  of  Police 
wal{s  up  and  down  the  dec\  all  unsuspecting?'" 

The  third  and  last  contest  too\  place  in  the  closing  chapter 
of  the  novel,  THE  HOLLOW  NEEDLE  (New  Yor{,  Doubleday,  Page, 
1910;  London,  Nash,  1911).  "The  encounter  appeared  all  the 
more  terrible  inasmuch  as  it  was  silent,  almost  solemn.  For 
long  moments  the  two  enemies  too{  each  other's  measure  with 
their  eyes" 

In  the  final  desperate  struggle,  when  Shears  was  aiming  his 


HOLMLOCK    SHEARS    ARRIVES    TOO    LATE  1 

revolver  at  Lupin,  the  woman  who  loved  the  great  Arsene  flung 
herself  between  the  two  men.  The  shot  intended  for  Lupin 
filled  her,  and  the  scene  that  followed  is  one  of  the  most  tragic 
in  all  detective  literature.  "Night  began  to  cover  the  field  of 
battle  with  a  shroud  of  darkness.  .  .  .  Then  Lupin  bent  down, 
too\  the  dead  woman  in  his  powerful  arms  .  .  .  and  bearing 
his  precious  and  awful  burden  .  .  .  silent  and  fierce  he  turned 
toward  the  sea  and  plunged  into  the  darkness  of  the  night." 
So  ended  the  death-struggle  between  the  two  great  masters. 

A  point  of  explanation  about  the  various  names  under  which 
Sherloc^  Holmes  appears  in  the  Lupin  saga:  The  original 
French  version  is  Herlock  Sholmes.  This  was  changed  in 
English  editions  to  Holmloc^  Shears.  Both  forms  have  been 
used  in  American  booths —  Holmloc\  Shears  in  the  Harper 
editions,  and  Herloc^  Sholmes  (without  the  accent}  in  the 
Donohue  and  Ogilvie  reprints. 

But  Shears  or  Sholmes,  he  is  the  only  detective  whom  Leblanc 
considered  a  worthy  adversary  for  his  clever  and  resourceful 
Arsene.  For  while  Lupin  consistently  vanquished  Ganimard, 
Guerchard,  and  all  the  other  Gallic  sleuths,  he  never  achieved 
more  than  a  draw  against  the  great  Englishman — a  monu- 
mental tribute  indeed  from  that  true  French  gentleman,  M. 
Leblanc,  who  for  a  time  controlled  the  destiny  of  Britain's  man 
of  the  ages. 


I 


T'S  REALLY  curious,  your  likeness  to  Arsene  Lupin,  my  dear  Vel- 
mont." 

"Do  you  know  him?" 

"Oh,  just  as  everybody  does  — by  his  photographs,  not  one  of 
which  in  the  least  resembles  the  others;  but  they  all  leave  the  impres- 
sion of  the  same  face  .  .  .  which  is  undoubtedly  yours." 

Horace  Velmont  seemed  rather  annoyed. 

"I  suppose  you're  right,  Devanne.  You're  not  the  first  to  tell  me 
of  it,  I  assure  you." 

"Upon  my  word,"  persisted  Devanne,  "if  you  had  not  been  intro- 


l6  HOLMLOCK    SHEARS    ARRIVES    TOO    LATE 

duced  to  me  by  my  cousin  d'Estavan,  and  if  you  were  not  the  well- 
known  painter  whose  charming  seapieces  I  admire  so  much,  I'm  not 
sure  but  that  I  should  have  informed  the  police  of  your  presence  at 
Dieppe." 

The  sally  was  received  with  general  laughter.  There  were  gathered, 
in  the  great  dining  room  of  Thibermesnil  Castle,  in  addition  to  Vel- 
mont,  the  Abbe  Gelis,  rector  of  the  village,  and  a  dozen  officers 
whose  regiments  were  taking  part  in  the  maneuvers  in  the  neigh- 
borhood, and  who  had  accepted  the  invitation  of  Georges  Devanne, 
the  banker,  and  his  mother.  One  of  them  exclaimed : 

"But,  I  say,  wasn't  Arsene  Lupin  seen  on  the  coast  after  his  famous 
performance  in  the  train  between  Paris  and  Le  Havre?" 

"Just  so,  three  months  ago;  and  the  week  after  that  I  made  the 
acquaintance,  at  the  Casino,  of  our  friend  Velmont  here,  who  has 
since  honored  me  with  a  few  visits:  an  agreeable  preliminary  to  a 
more  serious  call  which  I  presume  he  means  to  pay  me  one  of  these 
days  ...  or,  rather,  one  of  these  nights!" 

The  company  laughed  once  more,  and  moved  into  the  old  guard- 
room —  a  huge,  lofty  hall  which,  occupies  the  whole  of  the  lower 
portion  of  the  Tour  Guillaume,  and  in  which  Georges  Devanne  has 
arranged  all  the  incomparable  treasures  accumulated  through  the 
centuries  by  the  lords  of  Thibermesnil.  It  is  filled  and  adorned  with 
old  chests  and  credence  tables,  fire  dogs  and  candelabra.  Splendid 
tapestries  hang  on  the  stone  walls.  The  deep  embrasures  of  the  four 
windows  are  furnished  with  seats  and  end  in  pointed  casements  with 
leaded  panes.  Between  the  door  and  the  window  on  the  left  stands 
a  monumental  Renaissance  bookcase,  on  the  pediment  of  which  is 
inscribed,  in  gold  letters,  the  word  THIBERMESNIL  and  underneath  it 
die  proud  motto  of  the  family:  Fats  ce  que  veulx. 

And  as  they  were  lighting  their  cigars,  Devanne  added: 

"But  you  will  have  to  hurry,  Velmont,  for  this  is  the  last  night  on 
which  you  will  have  a  chance." 

"And  why  the  last  night?"  said  die  painter,  who  certainly  took 
the  jest  in  very  good  part. 

Devanne  was  about  to  reply  when  his  mother  made  signs  to  him. 
But  die  excitement  of  the  dinner  and  the  wish  to  interest  his  guests 
were  too  much  for  him : 


HOLMLOCK    SHEARS    ARRIVES    TOO    LATE  17 

"Pooh!"  he  muttered.  "Why  shouldn't  I  tell  them?  There's  no 
indiscretion  to  be  feared  now." 

They  sat  round  him,  filled  with  a  lively  curiosity,  and  he  declared, 
with  the  self-satisfied  air  of  a  man  announcing  a  great  piece  of  news : 

"Tomorrow,  at  four  o'clock  in  the  afternoon,  I  shall  have  here, 
as  my  guest,  Holmlock  Shears,  the  great  English  detective,  for  whom 
no  mystery  exists,  the  most  extraordinary  solver  of  riddles  that  has 
ever  been  known,  the  wonderful  individual  who  might  have  been  the 
creation  of  a  novelist's  brain." 

There  was  a  general  exclamation.  Holmlock  Shears  at  Thiber- 
mesnil!  The  thing  was  serious,  then?  Was  Arsene  Lupin  really  in 
the  district? 

"Arsene  Lupin  and  his  gang  are  not  very  far  away.  Without  count- 
ing Baron  Cahorn's  mishap,  to  whom  are  we  to  ascribe  the  daring 
burglaries  at  Montigny  and  Gruchet  and  Crasville  if  not  to  our 
national  thief?  Today  it's  my  turn." 

"And  have  you  had  a  warning,  like  Baron  Cahorn?" 

"The  same  trick  does  not  succeed  twice." 

"Then  .  .  ." 

"Look  here." 

He  rose,  and,  pointing  to  a  little  empty  space  between  two  tall 
folios  on  one  of  the  shelves  of  the  bookcase,  said: 

"There  was  a  book  here  —  a  sixteenth-century  book,  entitled  The 
Chronicles  of  Thibermesnil  —  which  was  the  history  of  the  castle 
since  the  time  of  its  construction  by  Duke  Rollo,  on  the  site  of  a 
feudal  fortress.  It  contained  three  engraved  plates.  One  of  them 
presented  a  general  view  of  the  domain  as  a  whole;  the  second  a  plan 
of  the  building;  and  the  third  —  I  call  your  special  attention  to  this  — 
the  sketch  of  an  underground  passage,  one  of  whose  outlets  opens 
outside  the  first  line  of  the  ramparts,  while  the  other  ends  here  —  yes, 
in  this  very  hall  where  we  are  sitting.  Now  this  book  disappeared 
last  month." 

"By  Jove!"  said  Velmont.  "That's  a  bad  sign.  Only  it's  not  enough 
to  justify  the  intervention  of  Holmlock  Shears." 

"Certainly  it  would  not  have  been  enough  if  another  fact  had 
not  come  to  give  its  full  significance  to  that  which  I  have  just  told 
you.  There  was  a  second  copy  of  the  chronicle  in  the  Bibliotheque 


l8  HOLMLOCK    SHEARS    ARRIVES    TOO    LATE 

Nationale,  and  the  two  copies  differed  in  certain  details  concerning 
the  underground  passage,  such  as  the  addition  of  a  sectional  drawing, 
and  a  scale  and  a  number  of  notes,  not  printed,  but  written  in  ink 
and  more  or  less  obliterated.  I  knew  of  these  particulars,  and  I  knew 
that  the  definite  sketch  could  not  be  reconstructed  except  by  carefully 
collating  the  two  plans.  Well,  on  the  day  after  that  on  which  my  copy 
disappeared  the  one  in  the  Bibliotheque  Nation-ale  was  applied  for 
by  a  reader  who  carried  it  off  without  leaving  any  clue  as  to  the  man- 
ner in  which  the  theft  had  been  effected." 

These  words  were  greeted  with  many  exclamations. 

"This  time  the  affair  grows  serious." 

"Yes;  and  this  time,"  said  Devanne,  "the  police  were  roused,  and 
there  was  a  double  inquiry  which,  however,  led  to  no  result." 

"Like  all  those  aimed  at  Arsene  Lupin." 

"Exactly.  It  then  occurred  to  me  to  write  and  ask  for  the  help  of 
Holmlock  Shears,  who  replied  that  he  had  the  keenest  wish  to  come 
into  contact  with  Arsene  Lupin." 

"What  an  honor  for  Arsene  Lupin!"  said  Velmont.  "But  if  our 
national  thief,  as  you  call  him,  should  not  be  contemplating  a  project 
upon  Thibermesnil,  then  there  will  be  nothing  for  Holmlock  Shears 
to  do  but  twiddle  his  thumbs." 

"There  is  another  matter  which  is  sure  to  interest  him:  the  dis- 
covery of  the  underground  passage." 

"Why,  you  told  us  that  one  end  opened  in  the  fields  and  the  other 
here,  m  the  guardroom!" 

"Yes,  but  in  what  part  of  it?  The  line  that  represents  the  tunnel 
on  the  plans  finishes,  at  one  end,  at  a  little  circle  accompanied  by  the 
initials  T.G.,  which,  of  course,  stand  for  Tour  Guillaume.  But  it's 
a  round  tower,  and  who  can  decide  at  which  point  in  the  circle 
the  line  in  the  drawing  touches?" 

Devanne  lit  a  second  cigar,  and  poured  himself  out  a  glass  of 
Benedictine.  The  others  pressed  him  with  questions.  He  smiled  with 
pleasure  at  the  interest  which  he  had  aroused.  At  last,  he  said: 

"The  secret  is  lost.  Not  a  person  in  the  world  knows  it.  The  story 
says  that  the  high  and  mighty  lords  handed  it  down  to  one  another, 
on  their  death-beds,  from  father  to  son,  until  the  day  when  Geoffrey, 
the  last  of  the  name,  lost  his  head  on  the  scaffold,  on  the  seventh  of 
Thermidor,  Year  Second,  in  the  nineteenth  year  of  his  age." 


HOLMLOCK    SHEARS    ARRIVES    TOO    LATE  19 

"Yes,  but  more  than  a  century  has  passed  since  then;  and  it  must 
have  been  looked  for." 

"It  has  been  looked  for,  but  in  vain.  I  myself,  after  I  bought  the 
castle  from  the  great-grandnephew  of  Leribourg  of  the  National 
Convention,  had  excavations  made.  What  was  the  good  ?  Remember 
that  this  tower  is  surrounded  by  water  on  every  side,  and  only  joined 
to  the  castle  by  a  bridge,  and  that,  consequently,  the  tunnel  must 
pass  under  the  old'  moats.  The  plan  in  the  Bibliotheque  Nationale 
shows  a  series  of  four  staircases,  comprising  forty-eight  steps,  which 
allows  for  a  depth  of  over  ten  yards,  and  the  scale  annexed  to  the 
other  plan  fixes  the  length  at  two  hundred  yards.  As  a  matter  of  fact, 
the  whole  problem  lies  here,  between  this  floor,  that  ceiling,  and  these 
walls;  and,  upon  my  word,  I  do  not  feel  inclined  to  have  them  pulled 
down." 

"And  is  there  no  clue?" 

"Not  one." 

The  Abbe  Gelis  objected. 

"Monsieur  Devanne,  we  have  to  reckon  with  two  quotations  .  .  ." 

"Oh,"  cried  Devanne,  laughing,  "the  rector  is  a  great  rummager  of 
family  papers,  a  great  reader  of  memoirs,  and  he  fondly  loves  every- 
thing that  has  to  do  with  Thibermesnil.  But  the  explanation  to  which 
he  refers  only  serves  to  confuse  matters." 

"But  tell  us  what  it  is." 

"Do  you  really  care  to  hear?" 

"Immensely." 

"Well,  you  must  know  that,  as  the  result  of  his  reading,  he  has 
discovered  that  two  kings  of  France  held  the  key  to  the  riddle." 

"Two  kings  of  France?" 

"Henry  IV  and  Louis  XVI." 

"Two  famous  men.  And  how  did  the  rector  find  out?" 

"Oh,  it's  very  simple,"  continued  Devanne.  "Two  days  before  the 
Battle  of  Arques,  King  Henry  IV  came  to  sup  and  sleep  in  the  castle, 
and  on  this  occasion  Duke  Edgar  confided  the  family  secret  to  him. 
This  secret  Henry  IV  revealed  later  to  Sully,  his  minister,  who  tells 
the  story  in  his  Royales  Oeconomies  d'Etat,  without  adding  any  com- 
ment besides  this  incomprehensible  phrase:  'La  hache  tournoie  dans 
I' air  qui  fremit,  mats  I'aile  s'ouvre  et  I' on  va  jusqu'a  Dieu.' ' 

A  silence  followed,  and  Velmont  remarked : 


2O  HOLMLOCK    SHEARS    ARRIVES    TOO    LATE 

"It's  not  as  clear  as  daylight,  is  it?" 

"That's  what  I  say.  The  rector  maintains  that  Sully  set  down  the 
key  to  the  puzzle  by  means  of  those  words,  without  betraying  the 
secret  to  the  scribes  to  whom  he  dictated  his  memoirs." 

"It's  an  ingenious  supposition." 

"True.  But  what  is  the  ax  that  turns?  What  bird  is  it  whose  wing 
opens?" 

"And  who  goes  to  God?" 

"Goodness  knows!" 

"And  what  about  our  good  King  Louis  XVI?"  asked  Velmont. 

"Louis  XVI  stayed  at  Thibermesnil  in  1784,  and  the  famous  Iron 
Cupboard  discovered  at  the  Louvre  on  the  information  of  Gamain, 
the  locksmith,  contained  a  paper  with  these  words  written  in  the 
king's  hand:  Thibermesnil,  2-6-12" 

Horace  Velmont  laughed  aloud. 

"Victory!  The  darkness  is  dispelled.  Twice  six  are  twelve!" 

"Laugh  as  you  please,  sir,"  said  the  rector.  "Those  two  quotations 
contain  the  solution  for  all  that,  and  one  of  these  days  someone  will 
come  along  who  knows  how  to  interpret  them." 

"Holmlock  Shears,  first  of  all,"  said  Devanne,  "unless  Arsene 
Lupin  forestalls  him.  What  do  you  think,  Velmont?" 

Velmont  rose,  laid  his  hand  on  Devanne's  shoulder,  and  declared: 

"I  think  that  the  data  supplied  by  your  book  and  the  copy  in  the 
Bibliotheque  Nationale  lacked  just  one  link  of  the  highest  importance, 
and  that  you  have  been  kind  enough  to  supply  it.  I  am  much  obliged 
to  you." 

"Well  .  .  ." 

"Well,  now  that  the  ax  has  turned  and  the  bird  flown,  and  that 
twice  six  are  twelve,  all  I  have  to  do  is  to  set  to  work." 

"Without  losing  a  minute?" 

"Without  losing  a  second!  You  see,  I  must  rob  your  castle  tonight, 
that  is  to  say,  before  Holmlock  Shears  arrives." 

"You're  quite  right;  you  have  only  just  got  time.  Would  you  like 
me  to  drive  you?" 

"To  Dieppe?" 

"Yes,  I  may  as  well  fetch  Monsieur  and  Madame  d'Androl  and 
a  girl  friend  of  theirs,  who  are  arriving  by  the  midnight  train." 

Then,  turning  to  the  officers: 


HOLMLOCK    SHEARS    ARRIVES    TOO    LATE  21 

"We  shall  all  meet  here  at  lunch  tomorrow,  shan't  we,  gentlemen  ? 
I  rely  upon  you,  for  the  castle  is  to  be  invested  by  your  regiments 
and  taken  by  assault  at  eleven  in  the  morning." 

The  invitation  was  accepted,  the  officers  took  their  leave,  and  a 
minute  later  a  powerful  motorcar  was  carrying  Devanne  and  Vel- 
mont  along  the  Dieppe  road.  Devanne  dropped  the  painter  at  the 
Casino,  and  went  on  to  the  station. 

His  friends  arrived  at  midnight,  and  at  half-past  twelve  the  motor 
passed  through  the  gates  of  Thibermesnil.  At  one  o'clock,  after  a 
light  supper  served  in  the  drawing  room,  everyone  went  to  bed.  The 
lights  were  extinguished  one  by  one.  The  deep  silence  of  the  night 
enshrouded  the  castle. 

But  the  moon  pierced  the  clouds  that  veiled  it,  and,  through  two 
of  the  windows,  filled  the  hall  with  the  light  of  its  white  beams.  This 
lasted  for  but  a  moment.  Soon  the  moon  was  hidden  behind  the 
curtain  of  the  hills,  and  all  was  darkness.  The  silence  increased  as 
the  shadows  thickened.  At  most  it  was  disturbed,  from  time  to  time, 
by  the  creaking  of  the  furniture  or  the  rustling  of  the  reeds  in  the 
pond  which  bathes  the  old  walls  with  its  green  waters. 

The  clock  told  the  endless  beads  of  its  seconds.  It  struck  two.  Then 
once  more  the  seconds  fell  hastily  and  monotonously  in  the  heavy 
stillness  of  the  night.  Then  three  struck. 

And  suddenly  something  gave  a  clash,  like  the  arm  of  a  railway 
signal  that  drops  as  a  train  passes,  and  a  thin  streak  of  light  crossed 
the  hall  from  one  end  to  the  other,  like  an  arrow,  leaving  a  glittering 
track  behind  it.  It  issued  from  the  central  groove  of  a  pilaster  against 
which  the  pediment  of  the  bookcase  rests  upon  the  right.  It  first 
lingered  upon  the  opposite  panel  in  a  dazzling  circle,  next  wandered 
on  every  side  like  a  restless  glance  searching  the  darkness,  and  then 
faded  away,  only  to  appear  once  more,  while  the  whole  of  one  sec- 
tion of  the  bookcase  turned  upon  its  axis,  and  revealed  a  wide  opening 
shaped  like  a  vault. 

A  man  entered,  holding  an  electric  lantern  in  his  hand.  Another 
man  and  a  third  emerged,  carrying  a  coil  of  rope  and  different  im- 
plements. The  first  man  looked  round  the  room,  listened,  and  said: 

"Call  the  pals." 

Eight  of  these  pals  came  out  of  the  underground  passage — eight 


22  HOLMLOCK    SHEARS    ARRIVES    TOO    LATE 

strapping  fellows,  with  determined  faces.  And  the  removal  began. 

It  did  not  take  long.  Arsene  Lupin  passed  from  one  piece  of 
furniture  to  another,  examined  it,  and,  according  to  its  size  or  its 
artistic  value,  spared  it  or  gave  an  order: 

"Take  it  away." 

And  the  piece  in  question  was  removed,  swallowed  by  the  yawning 
mouth  of  the  tunnel,  and  sent  down  into  the  bowels  of  the  earth. 

And  thus  were  juggled  away  six  Louis  XV  armchairs  and  as  many 
occasional  chairs,  a  number  of  Aubusson  tapestries,  some  candelabra 
signed  by  Gouthiere,  two  Fragonards  and  a  Nattier,  a  bust  by  Hou- 
don,  and  some  statuettes.  At  times  Arsene  Lupin  would  stop  before 
a  magnificent  oak  chest  or  a  splendid  picture  and  sigh : 

"That's  too  heavy  .  .  .  Too  big  ...  What  a  pity!" 

And  he  would  continue  his  expert  survey. 

In  forty  minutes  the  hall  was  "cleared,"  to  use  Arsene's  expression. 
And  all  this  was  accomplished  in  an  admirably  orderly  manner,  with- 
out the  least  noise,  as  though  all  the  objects  which  the  men  were 
handling  had  been  wrapped  in  thick  wadding. 

To  the  last  man  who  was  leaving,  carrying  a  clock  signed  by  Boule, 
he  said : 

"You  need  not  come  back.  You  understand,  don't  you,  that  as  soon 
as  the  motor  van  is  loaded  you're  to  make  for  the  barn  at  Roquefort?" 

"What  about  yourself,  governor?" 

"Leave  me  the  motorcycle." 

When  the  man  had  gone  he  pushed  the  movable  section  of  the 
bookcase  back  into  its  place,  and,  after  clearing  away  the  traces  of 
the  removal  and  the  footmarks,  he  raised  a  curtain  and  entered  a 
gallery  which  served  as  a  communication  between  the  tower  and 
the  castle.  Halfway  down  the  gallery  stood  a  glass  case,  and  it  was 
because  of  this  case  that  Arsene  Lupin  had  continued  his  investiga- 
tions. 

It  contained  marvels:  a  unique  collection  of  watches,  snuffboxes, 
rings,  chatelaines,  miniatures  of  the  most  exquisite  workmanship. 
He  forced  the  lock  with  a  jimmy,  and  it  was  an  unspeakable  pleasure 
to  him  to  finger  those  gems  of  gold  and  silver,  those  precious  and 
dainty  little  works  of  art. 

Hanging  round  his  neck  was  a  large  canvas  bag  specially  contrived 


HOLMLOCK    SHEARS    ARRIVES    TOO    LATE  23 

to  hold  these  windfalls.  He  filled  it.  He  also  filled  the  pockets  of  his 
jacket,  waistcoat,  and  trousers.  And  he  was  stuffing  under  his  left 
arm  a  heap  of  those  pearl  reticules  beloved  of  our  ancestors  and  so 
eagerly  sought  after  by  our  present  fashion  .  .  .  when  a  slight  sound 
fell  upon  his  ear. 

He  listened;  he  was  not  mistaken;  the  noise  became  clearer. 

And  suddenly  he  remembered.  At  the  end  of  the  gallery  an  inner 
staircase  led  to  a  room  which  had  been  hitherto  unoccupied,  but 
which  had  been  allotted  that  evening  to  the  young  girl  whom  De- 
vanne  had  gone  to  meet  at  Dieppe  with  his  friends  the  d'Androls. 

With  a  quick  movement  he  pressed  the  spring  of  his  lantern  and 
extinguished  it.  He  had  just  time  to  hide  in  the  recess  of  a  window 
when  the  door  at  the  top  of  the  staircase  opened  and  the  gallery  was 
lit  by  a  faint  gleam. 

He  had  a  feeling  — for,  half-hidden  behind  a  curtain,  he  could 
not  see  —  that  a  figure  was  cautiously  descending  the  top  stairs.  He 
hoped  that  it  would  come  no  farther.  It  continued,  however,  and 
took  several  steps  into  the  gallery.  But  it  gave  a  cry.  It  must  have 
caught  sight  of  the  broken  case,  three  quarters  emptied  of  its  con- 
tents. 

By  the  scent  he  recognized  the  presence  of  a  woman.  Her  dress 
almost  touched  the  curtain  that  concealed  him,  and  he  seemed  to 
hear  her  heart  beating,  while  she  must  needs  herself  perceive  the 
presence  of  another  person  behind  her  in  the  dark,  within  reach  of 
her  hand.  He  said  to  himself: 

"She's  frightened  .  .  .  she'll  go  back  ...  she  is  bound  to  go  back." 

She  did  not  go  back.  The  candle  shaking  in  her  hand  became 
steadier.  She  turned  round,  hesitated  for  a  moment,  appeared  to 
be  listening  to  the  alarming  silence,  and  then,  with  a  sudden  move- 
ment, pulled  back  the  curtain. 

Their  eyes  met. 

Arsene  murmured,  in  confusion: 

"You  .  .  .  you  .  .  .  Miss  Underwood!" 

It  was  Nellie  Underwood,  the  passenger  on  the  Provence,  the 
girl  who  had  mingled  her  dreams  with  his  during  that  never-to-be- 
forgotten  crossing,  who  had  witnessed  his  arrest,  and  who,  rather 
than  betray  him,  had  generously  flung  into  the  sea  the  kodak  in 


24  HOLMLOCK    SHEARS    ARRIVES    TOO    LATE 

which  he  had  hidden  the  stolen  jewels  and  banknotes!  ...  It  was 
Nellie  Underwood,  whose  image  had  so  often  saddened  or  gladdened 
his  long  hours  spent  in  prison! 

So  extraordinary  was  their  chance  meeting  in  this  castle  and  at 
that  hour  of  the  night  that  they  did  not  stir,  did  not  utter  a  word, 
dumfounded  and,  as  it  were,  hypnotized  by  the  fantastic  apparition 
which  each  of  them  presented  to  the  other's  eyes. 

Nellie,  shattered  with  emotion,  staggered  to  a  seat. 

He  remained  standing  in  front  of  her.  And  gradually,  as  the  in- 
terminable seconds  passed,  he  became  aware  of  the  impression  which 
he  must  be  making  at  that  moment,  with  his  arms  loaded  widi  curi- 
osities, his  pockets  stuffed,  his  bag  filled  to  bursting.  A  great  sense 
of  confusion  mastered  him,  and  he  blushed  to  find  himself  there  in 
the  mean  plight  of  a  robber  caught  in  the  act.  To  her  henceforth, 
come  what  might,  he  was  the  thief,  the  man  who  puts  his  hand 
into  other  men's  pockets,  the  man  who  picks  locks  and  enters  doors 
by  stealth. 

One  of  the  watches  rolled  upon  the  carpet,  followed  by  another. 
And  more  things  came  slipping  from  under  his  arms,  which  were 
unable  to  retain  them.  Then,  quickly  making  up  his  mind,  he 
dropped  a  part  of  his  booty  into  a  chair,  emptied  his  pockets,  and 
took  off  his  bag. 

He  now  felt  easier  in  Nellie's  presence,  and  took  a  step  towards 
her,  with  the  intention  of  speaking  to  her.  But  she  made  a  movement 
of  recoil  and  rose  quickly,  as  though  seized  with  fright,  and  ran  to 
the  guardroom.  The  curtain  fell  behind  her.  He  followed  her.  She 
stood  there,  trembling  and  speechless,  and  her  eyes  gazed  in  terror 
upon  the  great  devastated  hall. 

Without  a  moment's  hesitation,  he  said: 

"At  three  o'clock  tomorrow  everything  shall  be  restored  to  its 
place.  .  .  .  The  things  shall  be  brought  back." 

She  did  not  reply;  and  he  repeated: 

"At  three  o'clock  tomorrow,  I  give  you  my  solemn  pledge.  .  .  . 
No  power  on  earth  shall  prevent  me  from  keeping  my  promise.  .  .  . 
At  three  o'clock  tomorrow." 

A  long  silence  weighed  upon  them  both.  He  dared  not  break  it, 
and  the  girl's  emotion  made  him  suffer  in  every  nerve.  Softly,  with- 
out a  word,  he  moved  away. 


HOLMLOCK    SHEARS    ARRIVES    TOO    LATE  25 

And  he  thought  to  himself: 

"She  must  go!.  .  .  She  must  feel  that  she  is  free  to  go!  ...  She 
must  not  be  afraid  of  me!  .  .  ." 

But  suddenly  she  started,  and  stammered: 

"Footsteps!  ...  I  hear  someone  coming  .  .  ." 

He  looked  at  her  with  surprise.  She  appeared  distraught,  as  though 
at  the  approach  of  danger. 

"I  hear  nothing,"  he  said,  "and,  even  so  .  .  ." 

"Why,  you  must  fly!  ...  Quick,  fly!  .  .  ." 

"Fly  .  .  .  why?" 

"You  must!  .  .  .  You  must!  .  .  .  Ah,  don't  stay!" 

She  rushed  to  the  entrance  to  the  gallery  and  listened.  No,  there 
was  no  one  there.  Perhaps  the  sound  had  come  from  the  outside.  .  .  . 
She  waited  a  second,  and  then,  reassured,  turned  round. 

Arsene  Lupin  had  disappeared. 

Devanne's  first  thought,  on  ascertaining  that  his  castle  had  been 
pillaged,  found  expression  in  the  words  which  he  spoke  to  himself: 

"This  is  Velmont's  work,  and  Velmont  is  none  odier  than  Arsene 
Lupin." 

All  was  explained  by  this  means,  and  nothing  could  be  explained 
by  any  other.  And  yet  the  idea  only  just  passed  through  his  mind, 
for  it  seemed  almost  impossible  that  Velmont  should  not  be  Velmont 
—  that  is  to  say,  the  well-known  painter,  the  club  friend  of  his  cousin 
d'Estavan.  And  when  the  sergeant  of  gendarmes  had  been  sent  for 
and  arrived,  Devanne  did  not  even  think  of  telling  him  of  this  ab- 
surd conjecture. 

The  whole  of  that  morning  was  spent,  at  Thibermesnil,  in  an 
indescribable  hubbub.  The  gendarmes,  the  rural  police,  the  commis- 
sary of  police  from  Dieppe,  the  inhabitants  of  the  village  thronged 
the  passages,  the  park,  the  approaches  to  the  castle.  The  arrival  of 
the  troops  taking  part  in  the  maneuvers  and  the  crack  of  the  rifles 
added  to  the  picturesqueness  of  the  scene. 

The  early  investigations  furnished  no  clue.  The  windows  had  not 
been  broken  nor  the  doors  smashed  in.  There  was  no  doubt  but  that 
the  removal  had  been  effected  through  the  secret  outlet.  And  yet 
there  was  no  trace  of  footsteps  on  the  carpet,  no  unusual  mark  upon 
the  walls. 


26  HOLMLOCK    SHEARS    ARRIVES    TOO    LATE 

There  was  one  unexpected  thing,  however,  which  clearly  pointed 
to  the  fanciful  methods  of  Arsene  Lupin:  the  famous  sixteenth- 
century  chronicle  had  been  restored  to  its  old  place  in  the  bookcase, 
and  beside  it  stood  a  similar  volume,  which  was  none  other  than 
the  copy  stolen  from  the  Bibliotheque  Nationale. 

The  officers  arrived  at  eleven.  Devanne  received  them  gayly;  how- 
ever annoyed  he  might  feel  at  the  loss  of  his  artistic  treasures,  his 
fortune  was  large  enough  to  enable  him  to  bear  it  without  showing 
ill-humor.  His  friends  the  d'Androls  and  Nellie  came  down  from 
their  rooms,  and  the  officers  were  introduced. 

One  of  the  guests  was  missing:  Horace  Velmont.  Was  he  not 
coming?  He  walked  in  upon  the  stroke  of  twelve,  and  Devanne 
exclaimed : 

"Good!  There  you  are  at  last!" 

"Am  I  late?" 

"No,  but  you  might  have  been  .  .  .  after  such  an  exciting  night! 
You  have  heard  the  news,  I  suppose?" 

"What  news?" 

"You  robbed  the  castle  last  night." 

"Nonsense!" 

"I  tell  you,  you  did.  But  give  your  arm  to  Miss  Underwood,  and 
let  us  go  in  to  lunch  .  .  .  Miss  Underwood,  let  me  introduce  . 

He  stopped,  struck  by  the  confusion  on  the  girl's  features.  Then, 
seized  with  a  sudden  recollection,  he  said: 

"By  the  way,  of  course,  you  once  traveled  on  the  same  ship  with 
Arsene  Lupin  .  .  .  before  his  arrest.  .  .  .  You  are  surprised  by  the 
likeness,  are  you  not?" 

She  did  not  reply.  Velmont  stood  before  her,  smiling.  He  bowed; 
she  took  his  arm.  He  led  her  to  her  place,  and  sat  down  opposite  to 
her.  .  .  . 

During  lunch  they  talked  of  nothing  but  Arsene  Lupin,  the  stolen 
furniture,  the  underground  passage,  and  Holmlock  Shears.  Not  until 
the  end  of  the  meal,  when  other  subjects  were  broached,  did  Velmont 
join  in  the  conversation.  He  was  amusing  and  serious,  eloquent  and 
witty,  by  turns.  And  whatever  he  said  he  appeared  to  say  with  the 
sole  object  of  interesting  Nellie.  She,  wholly  engrossed  in  her  own 
thoughts,  seemed  not  to  hear  him. 

Coffee  was  served  on  the  terrace  overlooking  the  courtyard  and 


HOLMLOCK    SHEARS    ARRIVES    TOO    LATE  27 

the  French  garden  in  front  of  the  castle.  The  regimental  band  played 
on  the  lawn,  and  a  crowd  of  peasants  and  soldiers  strolled  about  the 
walks  in  the  park. 

Nellie  was  thinking  of  Arsene  Lupin's  promise: 

"At  three  o'clock  everything  will  be  there.  I  give  you  my  solemn 
pledge." 

At  three  o'clock!  And  the  hands  of  the  great  clock  in  the  right 
wing  pointed  to  twenty  to  three.  In  spite  of  herself,  she  kept  on 
looking  at  it.  And  she  also  looked  at  Velmont,  who  was  swinging 
peacefully  in  a  comfortable  rocking  chair. 

Ten  minutes  to  three  .  .  .  five  minutes  to  three  ...  A  sort  of 
impatience,  mingled  with  a  sense  of  exquisite  pain,  racked  the  young 
girl's  mind.  Was  it  possible  for  the  miracle  to  be  accomplished  and 
to  be  accomplished  at  the  fixed  time,  when  the  castle,  the  courtyard, 
and  the  country  around  were  filled  with  people,  and  when,  at  that 
very  moment,  the  public  prosecutor  and  the  examining  magistrate 
were  pursuing  their  investigations? 

And  still  .  .  .  still,  Arsene  Lupin  had  given  such  a  solemn 
promise! 

"It  will  happen  just  as  he  said,"  she  thought,  impressed  by  all  the 
man's  energy,  authority,  and  certainty. 

And  it  seemed  to  her  no  longer  a  miracle,  but  a  natural  event  that 
was  bound  to  take  place  in  the  ordinary  course  of  things. 

For  a  second  their  eyes  met.  She  blushed,  and  turned  away  her 
head. 

Three  o'clock.  .  .  .  The  first  stroke  rang  out,  the  second,  the  third. 
.  .  .  Horace  Velmont  took  out  his  watch,  glanced  up  at  the  clock, 
and  put  his  watch  back  in  his  pocket.  A  few  seconds  elapsed.  And 
then  the  crowd  opened  out  around  the  lawn  to  make  way  for  two 
carriages  that  had  just  passed  through  the  park  gates,  each  drawn 
by  two  horses.  They  were  two  of  those  regimental  wagons  which 
carry  the  cooking  utensils  of  the  officers'  mess  and  the  soldiers'  kits. 
They  stopped  in  front  of  the  steps.  A  quartermaster  sergeant  jumped 
down  from  the  box  of  the  first  wagon  and  asked  for  M.  Devanne. 

Devanne  ran  down  the  steps.  Under  the  awnings,  carefully  packed 
and  wrapped  up,  were  his  pictures,  his  furniture,  his  works  of  art 
of  all  kinds. 

The  sergeant  replied  to  the  questions  put  to  him  by  producing 


28  HOLMLOCK    SHEARS    ARRIVES    TOO    LATE 

the  order  which  the  adjutant  on  duty  had  given  him,  and  which  the 
adjutant  himself  had  received  that  morning  in  the  orderly  room.  The 
order  stated  that  No.  2  Company  of  the  Fourth  Battalion  was  to 
see  that  the  goods  and  chattels  deposited  at  the  Halleux  crossroads, 
in  the  Forest  of  Arques,  were  delivered  at  three  o'clock  to  M.  Georges 
Devanne,  the  owner  of  Thibermesnil  Castle.  It  bore  the  signature 
of  Colonel  Beauvel. 

"I  found  everything  ready  for  us  at  the  crossroads,"  added  the 
sergeant,  "laid  out  on  the  grass,  under  the  charge  of  ...  anyone 
passing.  That  struck  me  as  queer,  but  ...  well,  sir,  the  order  was 
plain  enough!" 

One  of  the  officers  examined  the  signature:  it  was  a  perfect  copy, 

but  forged. 

The  band  had  stopped.  The  wagons  were  emptied,  and  the  furni- 
ture carried  indoors. 

In  the  midst  of  this  excitement  Nellie  Underwood  was  left  stand- 
ing alone  at  one  end  of  the  terrace.  She  was  grave  and  anxious,  full 
of  vague  thoughts,  which  she  did  not  seek  to  formulate.  Suddenly 
she  saw  Velmont  coming  up  to  her.  She  wished  to  avoid  him,  but 
the  corner  of  the  balustrade  that  borders  the  terrace  hemmed  her  in 
on  two  sides,  and  a  row  of  great  tubs  of  shrubs  —  orange  trees,  laurels, 
and  bamboos  —  left  her  no  other  way  of  escape  than  that  by  which 
Velmont  was  approaching.  She  did  not  move.  A  ray  of  sunlight 
quivered  on  her  golden  hair,  shaken  by  the  frail  leaves  of  a  bamboo 
plant.  She  heard  a  soft  voice  say : 

"I  have  kept  the  promise  I  made  you  last  night." 

Arsene  Lupin  stood  by  her  side,  and  there  was  no  one  else  near 

them. 

He  repeated,  in  a  hesitating  attitude  and  a  timid  voice : 

"I  have  kept  the  promise  I  made  you  last  night." 

He  expected  a  word  of  thanks,  a  gesture  at  least,  to  prove  the 
interest  which  she  took  in  his  action.  She  was  silent. 

Her  scorn  irritated  Arsene  Lupin,  and  at  the  same  time  he  received 
a  profound  sense  of  all  that  separated  him  from  Nellie,  now  that 
she  knew  the  truth.  He  would  have  liked  to  exonerate  himself,  to 
seek  excuses,  to  show  his  life  in  its  bolder  and  greater  aspects.  But 
the  words  jarred  upon  him  before  they  were  uttered,  and  he  felt  the 
absurdity  and  the  impertinence  of  any  explanation. 


HOLMLOCK    SHEARS    ARRIVES    TOO    LATE  29 

He  gave  a  bitter  smile: 

"You  are  right,"  he  said.  "What  has  been  will  always  be.  Arsene 
Lupin  is  and  can  be  no  one  but  Arsene  Lupin;  and  not  even  a 
memory  can  exist  between  you  and  him  .  .  .  Forgive  me  ...  I 
ought  to  have  understood  that  my  very  presence  near  you  must  seem 
an  outrage.  .  .  ." 

He  made  way  for  her,  hat  in  hand,  and  Nellie  passed  before  him 
along  the  balustrade.  He  felt  tempted  to  hold  her  back,  to  beseech 
her.  His  courage  failed  him,  and  he  followed  her  with  his  eyes,  as 
he  had  done  on  the  day  long  past  when  she  crossed  the  gangplank 
on  their  arrival  at  New  York.  She  went  up  the  stairs  that  led  to  the 
door.  For  another  instant  her  dainty  figure  was  outlined  against  the 
marble  of  the  entrance  hall.  Then  he  saw  her  no  more. 

"Come,"  he  said  to  himself,  "I  have  nothing  more  to  do  here.  Let 
us  see  to  our  retreat.  The  more  so  as,  if  Holmlock  Shears  takes  up 
the  matter,  it  may  become  too  hot  for  me." 

The  park  was  deserted,  save  for  a  group  of  gendarmes  standing 
near  the  lodge  at  the  entrance.  Lupin  plunged  into  the  shrubbery, 
scaled  the  wall,  and  took  the  nearest  way  to  the  station  —  a  path 
winding  through  the  fields.  He  had  been  walking  for  eight  or  nine 
minutes  when  the  road  narrowed,  boxed  in  between  two  slopes; 
and,  as  he  reached  this  pass,  he  saw  someone  enter  it  at  the  opposite 
end. 

It  was  a  man  of  perhaps  middle  age,  powerfully  built  and  clean- 
shaven, whose  dress  accentuated  his  foreign  appearance.  He  carried  a 
heavy  walking-stick  in  his  hand  and  a  traveling  bag  slung  round  his 
neck. 

The  two  men  crossed  each  other.  The  foreigner  asked,  in  a  hardly 
perceptible  English  accent: 

"Excuse  me,  sir  ...  can  you  tell  me  the  way  to  the  castle?" 

"Straight  on  and  turn  to  the  left  when  you  come  to  the  foot  of 
the  wall.  They  are  waiting  for  you  impatiently." 

"Ah!" 

"Yes,  my  friend  Devanne  was  announcing  your  visit  to  us  last 
night." 

"He  made  a  great  mistake  if  he  said  too  much." 

"And  I  am  happy  to  be  the  first  to  pay  you  my  compliments. 
Holmlock  Shears  has  no  greater  admirer  than  myself." 


30  HOLMLOCK    SHEARS    ARRIVES    TOO    LATE 

There  was  the  slightest  shade  of  irony  in  his  voice,  which  he  re- 
gretted forthwith,  for  Holmlock  Shears  took  a  view  of  him  from 
head  to  foot  with  an  eye  at  once  so  all-embracing  and  so  piercing 
that  Arsene  Lupin  felt  himself  seized,  caught,  and  registered  by  that 
glance  more  exactly  and  more  essentially  than  he  had  ever  been  by 
any  photographic  apparatus. 

"The  snapshot's  taken,"  he  thought.  "It  will  never  be  worth  my 
while  to  disguise  myself  when  this  joker  is  about.  Only  ...  did  he 
recognize  me  or  not?" 

They  exchanged  bows.  But  a  noise  of  hoofs  rang  out,  the  clinking 
sound  of  horses  trotting  along  the  road.  It  was  the  gendarmes.  The 
two  men  had  to  fall  back  against  the  slope,  in  the  tall  grass,  to  save 
themselves  from  being  knocked  over.  The  gendarmes  passed,  and 
as  they  were  riding  in  single  file,  at  quite  a  distance  each  from  the 
other,  this  took  some  time.  Lupin  thought: 

"It  all  depends  upon  whether  he  recognized  me.  If  so,  does  he 
intend  to  take  his  advantage?  .  .  ." 

When  the  last  horseman  had  passed,  Holmlock  Shears  drew  him- 
self up  and,  without  saying  a  word,  brushed  the  dust  from  his  clothes. 
The  strap  of  his  bag  had  caught  in  a  branch  of  thorns.  Arsene  Lupin 
hastened  to  release  him.  They  looked  at  each  other  for  another  second. 
And  if  anyone  could  have  surprised  them  at  that  moment  he  would 
have  beheld  a  stimulating  sight  in  the  first  meeting  of  these  two  men, 
both  so  out  of  the  common,  so  powerfully  armed,  both  really  superior 
characters,  and  inevitably  destined  by  their  special  aptitudes  to  come 
into  collision,  like  two  equal  forces  which  the  order  of  things  drives 
one  against  the  other  in  space. 
Then  the  Englishman  said: 
"I  am  much  obliged  to  you." 
"At  your  service,"  replied  Lupin. 
They  went  their  respective  ways  —  Lupin  to  the  station,  Holmlock 

Shears  to  the  castle. 

The  examining  magistrate  and  the  public  prosecutor  had  left,  after 
a  long  but  fruitless  investigation,  and  the  others  were  awaiting 
Holmlock  Shears  with  an  amount  of  curiosity  fully  justified  by  his 
reputation.  They  were  a  little  disappointed  by  his  very  ordinary  ap- 
pearance, which  was  so  different  from  the  pictures  which  they  had 


HOLMLOCK    SHEARS    ARRIVES    TOO    LATE  31 

formed  of  him.  There  was  nothing  of  the  novel  hero  about  him, 
nothing  of  the  enigmatic  and  diabolical  personality  which  the  idea 
of  Holmlock  Shears  evokes  in  us.  However,  Devanne  exclaimed, 
with  exuberant  delight: 

"So  you  have  come  at  last!  This  is  indeed  a  joy!  I  have  so  long 
been  hoping  ...  I  am  almost  glad  of  what  has  happened,  since  it 
gives  me  the  pleasure  of  seeing  you.  But,  by  the  way,  how  did  you 
come?" 

"By  train." 

"What  a  pity!  I  sent  my  motor  to  the  landing  stage  to  meet  you 

"An  official  arrival,  I  suppose,"  growled  the  Englishman,  "with  a 
brass  band  marching  ahead!  An  excellent  way  of  helping  me  in  my 

business."  . 

This  uninviting  tone  disconcerted  Devanne,  who,  making  an  t 

fort  to  jest,  retorted: 
"The  business,  fortunately,  is  easier  than  I  wrote  to  you." 

"Why  so?" 

"Because  the  burglary  took  place  last  night." 

"If  you  had  not  announced  my  visit  beforehand,  the  burglary 
would  probably  have  not  taken  place  last  night." 
"When  would  it?" 
"Tomorrow,  or  some  other  day." 
"And  then?" 

"Arsene  Lupin  would  have  been  caught  in  a  trap." 
"And  my  things  .  .  ." 
"Would  not  have  been  carried  off." 
"My  things  are  here." 
"Here?" 
"They  were  brought  back  at  three  o'clock." 

"By  Lupin?" 

"By  a  quartermaster  sergeant,  in  two  military  wagons!'1 
Holmlock  Shears  violently  thrust  his  cap  down  upon  his  head  and 
adjusted  his  bag;  but  Devanne,  in  a  fever  of  excitement,  exclaimed: 
"What  are  you  doing?" 
"I  am  going." 
"Why  should  you?" 
"Your  things  are  here.  Arsene  Lupin  is  gone.  There  is  nothing 

left  for  me  to  do." 


32  HOLMLOCK    SHEARS    ARRIVES    TOO    LATE 

"Why,  my  dear  sir,  I  simply  can't  get  on  without  you.  What  hap- 
pened last  night  may  be  repeated  tomorrow,  seeing  that  we  know 
nothing  of  the  most  important  part:  how  Arsene  Lupin  effected  his 
entrance,  how  he  left,  and  why,  a  few  hours  later,  he  proceeded  to 
restore  what  he  had  stolen." 

"Oh,  I  see;  you  don't  know  .  .  ."  The  idea  of  a  secret  to  be  dis- 
covered mollified  Holmlock  Shears.  "Very  well,  let's  look  into  it. 
But  at  once,  please,  and,  as  far  as  possible,  alone." 

The  phrase  clearly  referred  to  the  bystanders.  Devanne  took  the 
hint,  and  showed  the  Englishman  into  the  guardroom.  Shears  put 
a  number  of  questions  to  him  touching  the  previous  evening,  the 
guests  who  were  present,  and  the  inmates  and  frequenters  of  the 
castle.  He  next  examined  the  two  volumes  of  the  Chronicle,  compared 
the  plans  of  the  underground  passage,  made  Devanne  repeat  the  two 
sentences  noted  by  the  Abbe  Gelis,  and  asked : 

"You're  sure  it  was  yesterday  that  you  first  spoke  of  those  two 
quotations?" 

"Yesterday." 

"You  had  never  mentioned  them  to  Monsieur  Horace  Velmont?" 

"Never." 

"Very  well.  You  might  order  your  car.  I  shall  leave  in  an  hour." 

"In  an  hour?" 

"Arsene  Lupin  took  no  longer  to  solve  the  problem  which  you 
put  to  him." 

"I!  .  .  .  Which  I  put. to  him?" 

"Why,  yes,  Arsene  Lupin  or  Velmont,  it's  all  the  same." 

"I  thought  as  much.  .  .  .  Oh,  the  rascal!  .  .  ." 

"Well,  at  ten  o'clock  last  night  you  supplied  Lupin  with  the  facts 
which  he  lacked,  and  which  he  had  been  seeking  for  weeks.  And 
during  the  course  of  the  night  Lupin  found  time  to  grasp  these  facts, 
to  collect  his  gang,  and  to  rob  you  of  your  property.  I  propose  to  be 
no  less  expeditious." 

He  walked  from  one  end  of  the  room  to  the  other,  thinking  as 
he  went,  then  sat  down,  crossed  his  long  legs,  and  closed  his  eyes. 

Devanne  waited  in  some  perplexity. 

"Is  he  asleep?  Is  he  thinking?" 

In  any  case,  he  went  out  to  give  his  instructions.  When  he  returned 


HOLMLOCK    SHEARS    ARRIVES    TOO    LATE  33 

he  found  the  Englishman  on  his  knees  at  the  foot  of  the  staircase 
in  the  gallery,  exploring  the  carpet. 
"What  is  it?" 

"Look  at  these  candle  stains." 
"I  see  ...  they  are  quite  fresh  .  .  ." 

"And  you  will  find  others  at  the  top  of  the  stairs,  and  more  still 
around  this  glass  case  which  Arsene  Lupin  broke  open,  and  from 
which  he  removed  the  curiosities  and  placed  them  on  this  chair." 
"And  what  do  you  conclude?" 

"Nothing.  All  these  facts  would  no  doubt  explain  the  restitution 
which  he  effected.  But  that  is  a  side  of  the  question  which  I  have 
no  time  to  go  into.  The  essential  thing  is  the  map  of  the  underground 
passage." 

"You  still  hope  .  .  ." 

"I  don't  hope;  I  know.  There's  a  chapel  at  two  or  three  hundred 
yards  from  the  castle,  is  there  not?" 
"Yes,  a  ruined  chapel,  with  the  tomb  of  Duke  Rollo." 
"Tell  your  chauffeur  to  wait  near  the  chapel." 
"My  chauffeur  is  not  back  yet.  .  .  .  They  are  to  let  me  know.  .  .  . 
So,  I  see,  you  consider  that  the  underground  passage  ends  at  the 
chapel.  What  indication  —  " 

Holmlock  Shears  interrupted  him: 
"May  I  ask  you  to  get  me  a  ladder  and  a  lantern?" 
"Oh,  do  you  want  a  ladder  and  a  lantern?" 
"I  suppose  so,  or  I  wouldn't  ask  you  for  them." 
Devanne,  a  little  taken  aback  by  this  cold  logic,  rang  the  bell. 
The  ladder  and  the  lantern  were  brought. 

Orders  succeeded  one  another  with  the  strictness  and  precision  of 
military  commands: 
"Put  the  ladder  against  the  bookcase,  to  the  left  of  the  word 

THIBERMESNIL  .  .  ." 

Devanne  did  as  he  was  asked,  and  the  Englishman  continued: 

"More  to  the  left  ...  to  the  right.  .  .  .  Stop!  ...  Go  up.  ... 
Good.  .  .  .  The  letters  are  all  in  relief,  are  they  not?" 

"Yes." 

"Catch  hold  of  the  letter  H,  and  tell  me  whether  it  turns  in  either 

direction." 


34  HOLMLOCK    SHEARS    ARRIVES    TOO    LATE 

Devanne  grasped  the  letter  H,  and  exclaimed: 

"Yes,  it  turns!  A  quarter  of  a  circle  to  the  right!  How  did  you  dis- 
cover that  ?  .  .  ." 

Shears,  without  replying,  continued: 

"Can  you  reach  the  letter  R  from  where  you  stand  ?  Yes.  .  .  .  Move 
it  about,  as  you  would  a  bolt  which  you  were  pushing  or  drawing." 

Devanne  moved  the  letter  R.  To  his  great  astonishment,  some- 
thing became  unlatched  inside. 

"Just  so,"  said  Holmlock  Shears.  "All  that  you  now  have  to  do 
is  to  push  your  ladder  to  the  other  end;  that  is  to  say,  to  the  end  of 
the  word  THIBERMESNIL.  .  .  .  Good.  .  .  .  Now,  if  I  am  not  mistaken, 
if  things  go  as  they  should,  the  letter  L  will  open  like  a  shutter." 

With  a  certain  solemnity,  Devanne  took  hold  of  the  letter  L.  The 
letter  L  opened,  but  Devanne  tumbled  off  his  ladder,  for  the  whole 
section  of  the  bookcase  between  the  first  and  last  letters  of  the  word 
swung  round  upon  a  pivot  and  disclosed  the  opening  of  the  tunnel. 

Holmlock  Shears  asked,  phlegmatically : 

"Have  you  hurt  yourself?" 

"No,  no,"  said  Devanne,  scrambling  to  his  feet.  "I'm  not  hurt, 
but  flurried,  I  admit.  .  .  .  Those  moving  letters.  .  .  .  that  yawning 
tunnel  .  .  ." 

"And  what  then  ?  Doesn't  it  all  fit  in  exactly  with  the  Sully  quota- 
tion?" 

"How  do  you  mean?" 

"Why,  I'H  tournoie,  I'R  jremit,  et  I'L  s'ouvre  .  .  ."  l 

"But  what  about  Louis  XVI?" 

"Louis  XVI  was  a  really  capable  locksmith.  I  remember  reading  a 
Treatise  on  Combination-loc\s  which  was  ascribed  to  him.  On  the 
part  of  a  Thibermesnil,  it  would  be  an  act  of  good  courtiership  to 
show  his  sovereign  this  masterpiece  of  mechanics.  By  the  way  of  a 
memorandum,  the  king  wrote  down  2-6-12  —  that  is  to  say,  the 
second,  sixth,  and  twelfth  letters  of  die  word:  H,  R,  L." 

"Oh,  of  course.  ...  I  am  beginning  to  understand.  .  .  .  Only,  look 
here  ...  I  can  see  how  you  get  out  of  this  room,  but  I  can't  see 
how  Lupin  got  in;  for,  remember,  he  came  from  the  outside." 

1  It  can  hardly  be  necessary  to  explain  to  modern  English  readers  that,  in  French,  the 
letter  H  is  pronounced  hache,  an  ax;  R,  air,  the  air;  and  L,  aile,  a  wing. — TRANS- 
LATOR'S NOTE. 


HOLMLOCK    SHEARS    ARRIVES    TOO    LATE  35 

Holmlock  Shears  lit  the  lantern,  and  entered  the  underground 
passage. 

"Look,  you  can  see  the  whole  mechanism  here,  like  the  works  of 
a  watch,  and  all  the  letters  are  reversed.  Lupin,  therefore,  had  only 
to  move  them  from  this  side  of  the  wall." 

"What  proof  have  you?" 

"What  proof?  Look  at  this  splash  of  oil.  He  even  foresaw  that  the 
wheels  would  need  greasing,"  said  Shears,  not  without  admiration. 

"Then  he  knew  the  other  outlet?" 

"Just  as  I  know  it.  Follow  me." 

"Into  the  underground  passage?" 

"Are  you  afraid?" 

"No;  but  are  you  sure  you  can  find  your  way?" 

"I'll  find  it  with  my  eyes  shut." 

They  first  went  down  twelve  steps,  then  twelve  more,  and  again 
twice  twelve  more.  Then  they  passed  through  a  long  tunnel  whose 
brick  walls  showed  traces  of  successive  restorations,  and  oozed,  in 
places,  with  moisture.  The  ground  underfoot  was  damp. 

"We  are  passing  under  the  pond,"  said  Devanne,  who  felt  far  from 
comfortable. 

The  tunnel  ended  in  a  flight  of  twelve  steps,  followed  by  three 
other  flights  of  twelve  steps  each,  which  they  climbed  with  difficulty, 
and  they  emerged  in  a  small  hollow  hewn  out  of  the  solid  rock.  The 
way  did  not  go  any  farther. 

"Hang  it  all!"  muttered  Holmlock  Shears.  "Nothing  but  bare  walls. 
This  is  troublesome." 

"Suppose  we  go  back,"  suggested  Devanne,  "for  I  don't  see  the 
use  of  learning  any  more.  I  have  seen  all  I  want  to." 

But  on  raising  his  eyes  the  Englishman  gave  a  sigh  of  relief:  above 
their  heads  the  same  mechanism  was  repeated  as  at  the  entrance.  He 
had  only  to  work  the  three  letters.  A  block  of  granite  turned  on  a 
pivot.  On  the  other  side  it  formed  Duke  Hollo's  tombstone,  carved 
with  the  twelve  letters  in  relief,  THIBERMESNIL.  And  they  found 
themselves  in  the  little  ruined  chapel  of  which  Holmlock  Shears  had 
spoken. 

"  'And  you  go  to  God'  .  .  .  that  is  to  say,  to  the  chapel,"  said  Shears, 
quoting  the  end  of  the  sentence. 

"Is  it  possible  —  "  cried  Devanne,  amazed  at  the  other's  perspicacity 


36  HOLMLOCK    SHEARS    ARRIVES    TOO    LATE 

and  keenness  —  "is  it  possible  that  this  simple  clue  told  you  all  that 
you  wanted  to  know?" 

"Tush!"  said  the  Englishman.  "It  was  even  superfluous.  In  the 
copy  belonging  to  the  Bibliotheque  Nationale  the  drawing  of  the  tun- 
nel ends  on  the  left,  as  you  know,  in  a  circle,  and  on  the  right,  as 
you  do  not  know,  in  a  little  cross,  which  is  so  faintly  marked  that  it 
can  only  be  seen  through  a  magnifying  glass.  This  cross  obviously 
points  to  the  chapel." 

Poor  Devanne  could  not  believe  his  ears. 

"It's  wonderful,  marvelous,  and  just  as  simple  as  A  B  C!  How  is  it 
that  the  mystery  was  never  seen  through?" 

"Because  nobody  ever  united  the  three  or  four  necessary  elements; 
that  is  to  say,  the  two  books  and  the  quotations  .  .  .  nobody,  except 
Arsene  Lupin  and  myself." 

"But  I  also,"  said  Devanne,  "and  the  Abbe  Gelis  ...  we  both  of 
us  knew  as  much  about  it  as  you,  and  yet  .  .  ." 

Shears  smiled. 

"Monsieur  Devanne,  it  is  not  given  to  all  the  world  to  succeed  in 
solving  riddles." 

"But  I  have  been  hunting  for  ten  years.  And  you,  in  ten  min- 
utes .  .  ." 

"Pooh!  It's  a  matter  of  habit." 

They  walked  out  of  the  chapel,  and  the  Englishman  exclaimed: 

"Hullo,  a  motorcar  waiting!" 

"Why,  it's  mine!" 

"Yours?  But  I  thought  the  chauffeur  hadn't  returned?" 

"No  more  he  had  ...  I  can't  make  out  .  .  ." 

They  went  up  to  the  car,  and  Devanne  said  to  the  chauffeur: 

"Victor,  who  told  you  to  come  here?" 

"Monsieur  Velmont,  sir,"  replied  the  man. 

"Monsieur  Velmont?  Did  you  meet  him?" 

"Yes,  sir,  near  the  station,  and  he  told  me  to  go  to  the  chapel." 

"To  go  to  the  chapel!  What  for?" 

"To  wait  for  you,  sir  ...  and  your  friend." 

Devanne  and  Holmlock  Shears  exchanged  glances.  Devanne  said: 

"He  saw  that  the  riddle  would  be  child's  play  to  you.  He  has  paid 
you  a  delicate  compliment." 


HOLMLOCK    SHEARS    ARRIVES    TOO    LATE  37 

A  smile  of  satisfaction  passed  over  the  detective's  thin  lips.  The 
compliment  pleased  him.  He  jerked  his  head  and  said : 

"He's  a  man,  that!  I  took  his  measure  the  moment  I  saw  him." 

"So  you've  seen  him?" 

"We  crossed  on  my  way  here." 

"And  you  knew  that  he  was  Horace  Velmont  —  I  mean  to  say, 
Arsene  Lupin?" 

"No,  but  it  did  not  take  me  long  to  guess  as  much  .  .  .  from  a 
certain  irony  in  his  talk." 

"And  you  let  him  escape?" 

"I  did  .  .  .  although  I  had  only  to  put  out  my  hand  .  .  .  five 
gendarmes  rode  past  us." 

"But,  bless  my  soul,  you'll  never  get  an  opportunity  like  that 
again  .  .  ." 

"Just  so,  Monsieur  Devanne,"  said  the  Englishman,  proudly. 
"When  Holmlock  Shears  has  to  do  with  an  adversary  like  Arsene 
Lupin,  he  does  not  take  opportunities  ...  he  creates  them  .  .  ." 

But  time  was  pressing,  and  as  Lupin  had  been  so  obliging  as  to 
send  the  motor,  Devanne  and  Shears  settled  themselves  in  their  seats. 
Victor  started  the  engine,  and  they  drove  off.  Fields,  clumps  of  trees 
sped  past.  The  gentle  undulations  of  the  Caux  country  leveled  out 
before  them.  Suddenly  Devanne's  eyes  were  attracted  to  a  little  parcel 
in  one  of  the  carriage  pockets. 

"Hullo!  What's  this?  A  parcel!  Whom  for?  Why,  it's  for  you!" 

"For  me?" 

"Read  for  yourself:  Holmloc\  Shears,  Esq.,  from  Arsene  Lupin!" 

The  Englishman  took  the  parcel,  untied  the  string,  and  removed 
the  two  sheets  of  paper  in  which  it  was  wrapped.  It  was  a  watch. 

"Oh!"  he  said,  accompanying  his  exclamation  with  an  angry 
gesture.  .  .  . 

"A  watch,"  said  Devanne.  "Can  he  have  .  .  ." 

The  Englishman  did  not  reply. 

"What!  It's  your  watch?  Is  Arsene  Lupin  returning  you  your 
watch?  Then  he  must  have  taken  it!  ...  He  must  have  taken  your 
watch!  Oh,  this  is  too  good!  Holmlock  Shears's  watch  spirited  away 
by  Arsene  Lupin!  Oh,  this  is  too  funny  for  words!  No,  upon  my 
honor  .  .  .  you  must  excuse  me  ...  I  can't  help  laughing!" 


38  HOLMLOCK    SHEARS    ARRIVES    TOO    LATE 

He  laughed  till  he  cried,  utterly  unable  to  restrain  himself.  When 
he  had  done,  he  declared,  in  a  tone  of  conviction: 

"Yes,  he's  a  man,  as  you  said." 

The  Englishman  did  not  move  a  muscle.  With  his  eyes  fixed  on 
the  fleeting  horizon  he  spoke  not  a  word  until  they  reached  Dieppe. 
His  silence  was  terrible,  unfathomable,  more  violent  than  the  fiercest 
fury.  On  the  landing  stage  he  said  simply,  this  time  without  betraying 
any  anger,  but  in  a  tone  that  revealed  all  the  iron  will  and  energy  of 
his  remarkable  personality: 

"Yes,  he's  a  man,  and  a  man  on  whose  shoulder  I  shall  have  great 
pleasure  in  laying  this  hand  with  which  I  now  grasp  yours,  Monsieur 
Devanne.  And  I  have  an  idea,  mark  you,  that  Arsene  Lupin  and 
Holmlock  Shears  will  meet  again  someday.  .  .  .  Yes,  the  world  is 
too  small  for  them  not  to  meet.  .  .  .  And  when  they  do  .  .  ." 


Detective:  SHERLOCK  HOLMES 


THE  ADVENTURE  OF  THE 
CLOTHES-LINE 

by  CAROLYN  WELLS 


"The  Adventure  of  the  Clothes-line"  first  appeared  in  "The 
Century,"  issue  of  May  79/5  —  but  to  the  best  of  your  Editors' 
knowledge  this  is  the  first  time  Carolyn  Wells's  parody  has 
ever  been  published  in  boo\  form. 

Holmes  is  depicted  as  the  president  —  who  would  challenge 
his  right?  —  of  the  Society  of  Infallible  Detectives.  If  you  will 
loof(  at  the  frontispiece  of  this  volume,  which  served  as  one  of 
the  original  illustrations  in  "The  Century"  magazine,  you  will 
see  Holmes  literally  towering  above  his  colleagues  —  The 
Thinking  Machine,  Raffles,  M.  Lecoq,  and  others  — perfect 
symbolism  on  the  part  of  that  great  Sherlockjan  artist,  Frederic 
Dorr  Steele. 

Shortly  after  the  death  of  Carolyn  Wells,  a  large  part  of  her 
library  was  sent  to  the  Parf(e-Bernet  Galleries  of  New  Yorf^ 
City  for  auction.  Through  the  kindness  of  Mr.  Alfred  Gold- 
smith, the  eminent  bookseller  (and  one  of  Carolyn  Wells's 
most  intimate  friends),  and  Messrs.  Swann  and  Gaffney  of  the 
Galleries,  your  Editors  were  permitted  to  examine  the  Wellsian 
booi{s  before  they  were  catalogued. 

It  was  a  remarkable  experience,  this  browsing  among  a  life- 
time of  booJ{s,  each  touched  with  the  memory  of  one  of  Amer- 
ica's most  prolific  detective-story  writers.  There  was  almost  a 
complete  collection  of  Carolyn  Wells's  own  worlds  —  number- 
ing ijo-odd  different  titles!  Through  the  further  \indness  of 
Mary  O'Connell,  to  whom  this  portion  of  Miss  Wells's  library 
was  willed,  your  Editors  were  permitted  to  buy  certain  booths 
in  advance  of  the  auction.  Those  are  prized  booths  now  —  a 
first  edition  of  Rodrigues  Ottolengui's  FINAL  PROOF  (New  Yorl(, 


40  THE    ADVENTURE    OF  .THE    CLOTHES-LINE 

Putnam,  1898),  a  first  edition  of  Jacques  Futrelle's  THE  THINK- 
ING MACHINE  ON  THE  CASE  {New  Yorf(,  Appleton,  7908),  and  a 
jew  English  anthologies. 

Later,  during  the  auction,  Mr.  Goldsmith  successfully  bid  in 
for  your  Editors  on  a  copy  of  Poe's  TALES  (London,  Wiley  & 
Putnam,  1845)  —a  rare  and  important  boo\,  in  the  original 
cloth,  enclosed  in  a  morocco  slipcase,  and  enhanced  by  one  of 
Carolyn  Wells' s  charming  and  ironic  bookplates.  But  we  have 
strayed  off  the  main  road  into  bibliobypaths  .  .  . 

Passing  from  boo\  to  boo\,  opening  an  occasional  volume 
and  dipping  like  bees  into  its  honey,  your  Editors  were  deeply 
impressed  by  the  catholicity  and  vigor  of  Miss  Wells' s  literary 
taste.  Certain  deductions  were  obvious  —  or,  shall  we  say,  ele- 
mentary? That  Miss  Wells  loved  the  excitement  of  life  on  the 
printed  page  was  all  too  clear — her  favorite  boo\s  were  by 
Walt  Whitman  and  Herman  Melville;  but  judging  from  the 
treasured  Conan  Doyle  volumes  which  she  %ept  throughout 
her  life,  she  must  always  have  had  a  warm  spot  in  her  affections 
for  that  towering  figure  of  a  man,  Sherloc\  Holmes. 


T 

JL_H1 


.HE  MEMBERS  of  the  Society  of  Infallible  Detectives  were  just 
sitting  around  and  being  socially  infallible,  in  their  rooms  in  Fakir 
Street,  when  President  Holmes  strode  in.  He  was  much  saturniner 
than  usual,  and  the  others  at  once  deduced  there  was  something 
toward. 

"And  it's  this,"  said  Holmes,  perceiving  that  they  had  perceived 
it.  "A  reward  is  offered  for  the  solution  of  a  great  mystery  —  so  great, 
my  colleagues,  that  I  fear  none  of  you  will  be  able  to  solve  it,  or  even 
to  help  me  in  the  marvelous  work  I  shall  do  when  ferreting  it  out." 

"Humph!"  grunted  the  Thinking  Machine,  riveting  his  steel-blue 
eyes  upon  the  speaker. 

"He  voices  all  our  sentiments,"  said  RafHes,  with  his  winning  smile. 
"Fire  away,  Holmes.  What's  the  prob?" 

"To  explain  a  most  mysterious  proceeding  down  on  the  East  Side." 

Though  a  tall  man,  Holmes  spoke  shortly,  for  he  was  peeved  at  the 


THE    ADVENTURE    OF    THE    CLOTHES-LINE  4! 

inattentive  attitude  of  his  collection  of  colleagues.  But  of  course  he 
still  had  his  Watson,  so  he  put  up  with  the  indifference  of  the  rest 
of  the  cold  world. 

"Aren't  all  proceedings  down  on  the  East  Side  mysterious?"  asked 
Arsene  Lupin,  with  an  aristocratic  look. 

Holmes  passed  his  brow  wearily  under  his  hand. 

"Inspector  Spyer,"  he  said,  "was  riding  on  the  Elevated  Road- 
one  of  the  small  numbered  Avenues  —  when,  as  he  passed  a  tenement- 
house  district,  he  saw  a  clothes-line  strung  from  one  high  window  to 
another  across  a  courtyard." 

"Was  it  Monday?"  asked  the  Thinking  Machine,  who  for  the 
moment  was  thinking  he  was  a  washing  machine. 

"That  doesn't  matter.  About  the  middle  of  the  line  was  sus- 
pended - 

"By  clothes-pins?"  asked  two  or  three  of  the  Infallibles  at  once. 

"Was  suspended  a  beautiful  woman." 

"Hanged?" 

"No.  Do  listen!  She  hung  by  her  hands,  and  was  evidently  trying 
to  cross  from  one  house  to  the  other.  By  her  exhausted  and  agonized 
face,  the  inspector  feared  she  could  not  hold  on  much  longer.  He 
sprang  from  his  seat  to  rush  to  her  assistance,  but  the  train  had 
already  started,  and  he  was  too  late  to  get  off." 

"What  was  she  doing  there?"  "Did  she  fall?"  "What  did  she  look 
like?"  and  various  similar  nonsensical  queries  fell  from  the  lips  of 
the  great  detectives. 

"Be  silent,  and  I  will  tell  you  all  the  known  facts.  She  was  a  society 
woman,  it  is  clear,  for  she  was  robed  in  a  chiffon  evening  gown,  one 
of  those  roll-top  things.  She  wore  rich  jewelry  and  dainty  slippers 
with  jeweled  buckles.  Her  hair,  unloosed  from  its  moorings,  hung  in 
heavy  masses  far  down  her  back." 

"How  extraordinary!  What  does  it  all  mean?"  asked  M.  Dupin, 
ever  straightforward  of  speech. 

"I  don't  know  yet,"  answered  Holmes,  honestly.  "I've  studied  the 
matter  only  a  few  months.  But  I  will  find  out,  if  I  have  to  raze  the 
whole  tenement  block.  There  must  be  a  clue  somewhere." 

"Marvelous!  Holmes,  marvelous!"  said  a  phonograph  in  the  corner, 
which  Watson  had  fixed  up,  as  he  had  to  go  out. 


42  THE    ADVENTURE    OF    THE    CLOTHES-LINE 

"The  police  have  asked  us  to  take  up  the  case  and  have  offered  a 
reward  for  its  solution.  Find  out  who  was  the  lady,  what  she  was 
doing,  and  why  she  did  it." 

"Are  there  any  clues?"  asked  M.  Vidocq,  while  M.  Lecoq  said 
simultaneously,  "Any  footprints?" 

"There  is  one  footprint;  no  other  clue." 

"Where  is  the  footprint?" 

"On  the  ground,  right  under  where  the  lady  was  hanging." 

"But  you  said  the  rope  was  high  from  the  ground." 

"More  than  a  hundred  feet." 

"And  she  stepped  down  and  made  a  single  footprint.  Strange! 
Quite  strange!"  and  the  Thinking  Machine  shook  his  yellow  old 

head. 

"She  did  nothing  of  the  sort,"  said  Holmes,  petulantly.  "If  you 
fellows  would  listen,  you  might  hear  something.  The  occupants  of 
the  tenement  houses  have  been  questioned.  But,  as  it  turns  out,  none 
of  them  chanced  to  be  at  home  at  the  time  of  the  occurrence.  There 
was  a  parade  in  the  next  street,  and  they  had  all  gone  to  see  it." 

"Had  a  light  snow  fallen  the  night  before?"  asked  Lecoq,  eagerly. 

"Yes,  of  course,"  answered  Holmes.  "How  could  we  know  any- 
thing, else?  Well,  the  lady  had  dropped  her  slipper,  and  although  the 
slipper  was  not  found,  it  having  been  annexed  by  the  tenement 
people  who  came  home  first,  I  had  a  chance  to  study  the  footprint. 
The  slipper  was  a  two  and  a  half  D.  It  was  too  small  for  her." 

"How  do  you  know?" 

"Women  always  wear  slippers  too  small  for  them." 

"Then  how  did  she  come  to  drop  it  off?"  This  from  Raffles, 
triumphantly. 

Holmes  looked  at  him  pityingly. 

"She  kicked  it  off  because  it  was  too  tight.  Women  always  kick 
off  their  slippers  when  playing  bridge  or  in  an  opera  box  or  at  a 

dinner." 
"And  always  when  they're  crossing  a  clothes-line?"  This  in  Lupin's 

most  sarcastic  vein. 

"Naturally,"  said  Holmes,  with  a  taciturnine  frown.  "The  footprint 
clearly  denotes  a  lady  of  wealth  and  fashion,  somewhat  short  of 
stature,  and  weighing  about  one  hundred  and  sixty.  She  was  of  an 
animated  nature  —  " 


THE    ADVENTURE    OF    THE    CLOTHES-LINE  43 

"Suspended  animation,"  put  in  Luther  Trant,  wittily,  and  Scien- 
tific Sprague  added,  "Like  the. Coffin  of  Damocles,  or  whoever  it 
was." 

But  Holmes  frowned  on  their  light-headedness. 

"We  must  find  out  what  it  all  means,"  he  said  in  his  gloomiest 
way.  "I  have  a  tracing  of  the  footprint." 

"I  wonder  if  my  seismospygmograph  would  work  on  it,"  mused 
Trant. 

"I  am  the  Prince  of  Footprints,"  declared  Lecoq,  pompously.  '7 

will  solve  the  mystery." 

"Do  your  best,  all  of  you,"  said  their  illustrious  president.  "I  fear 
you  can  do  little;  these  things  are  unintelligible  to  the  unintelligent. 
But  study  on  it,  and  meet  here  again  one  week  from  tonight,  with 
your  answers  neatly  typewritten  on  one  side  of  the  paper." 

The  Infallible  Detectives  started  off,  each  affecting  a  jaunty  san- 
guineness  of  demeanor,  which  did  not  in  the  least  impress  their 
president,  who  was  used  to  sanguinary  impressions. 

They  spent  their  allotted  seven  days  in  the  study  of  the  problem; 
and  a  lot  of  the  seven  nights,  too,  for  they  wanted  to  delve  into  the 
baffling  secret  by  sun  or  candlelight,  as  dear  Mrs.  Browning  so 
poetically  puts  it. 

And  when  the  week  had  fled,  the  Infallibles  again  gathered  in  the 
Fakir  Street  sanctum,  each  face  wearing  the  smug  smirk  and  smile 
of  one  who  had  quested  a  successful  quest  and  was  about  to  accept 
his  just  reward. 

"And  now,"  said  President  Holmes,  "as  nothing  can  be  hid  from 
the  Infallible  Detectives,  I  assume  we  have  all  discovered  why  the 
lady  hung  from  the  clothes-line  above  that  deep  and  dangerous  chasm 
of  a  tenement  courtyard." 

"We  have,"  replied  his  colleagues,  in  varying  tones  of  pride,  conceit, 
and  mock  modesty. 

"I  cannot  think,"  went  on  the  hawk-like  voice,  "that  you  have,  any 
of  you,  stumbled  upon  the  real  solution  of  the  mystery;  but  I  will 
listen  to  your  amateur  attempts." 

"As  the  oldest  member  of  our  organization,  I  will  tell  my  solution 
first,"  said  Vidocq,  calmly.  "I  have  not  been  able  to  find  the  lady, 
but  I  am  convinced  that  she  was  merely  an  expert  trapezist  or  tight- 


44  THE    ADVENTURE    OF    THE    CLOTHES-LINE 

rope  walker,  practising  a  new  trick  to  amaze  her  Coney  Island 
audiences." 

"Nonsense!"  cried  Holmes.  "In  that  case  the  lady  would  have  worn 
tights  or  fleshings.  We  are  told  she  was  in  full  evening  dress  of  the 


smartest  set." 


Arsene  Lupin  spoke  next. 

"It's  too  easy,"  he  said  boredly;  "she  was  a  typist  or  stenographer 
who  had  been  annoyed  by  attentions  from  her  employer,  and  was 
trying  to  escape  from  the  brute." 

"Again  I  call  your  attention  to  her  costume,"  said  Holmes,  with 
a  look  of  intolerance  on  his  finely  cold-chiseled  face. 

"That's  all  right,"  returned  Lupin,  easily.  "Those  girls  dress  every 
old  way!  I've  seen  'em.  They  don't  think  anything  of  evening  clothes 
at  their  work." 

"Humph!"  said  the  Thinking  Machine,  and  the  others  all  agreed 

with  him. 

"Next,"  said  Holmes,  sternly. 

"I'm  next,"  said  Lecoq.  "I  submit  that  the  lady  escaped  from  a 
near-by  lunatic  asylum.  She  had  the  illusion  that  she  was  an  old  over- 
coat and  the  moths  had  got  at  her.  So  of  course  she  hung  herself  on 
the  clothes-line.  This  theory  of  lunacy  also  accounts  for  the  fact  that 
the  lady's  hair  was  down  —  like  Ophelia's,  you  know." 

"It  would  have  been  easier  for  her  to  swallow  a  few  good  moth 
balls,"  said  Holmes,  looking  at  Lecoq  in  stormy  silence.  "Mr.  Gryce, 
you  are  an  experienced  deducer;  what  did  you  conclude?" 

Mr.  Gryce  glued  his  eyes  to  his  right  boot  toe,  after  his  celebrated 
habit.  "I  make  out  she  was  a-slumming.  You  know,  all  the  best  ladies 
are  keen  about  it.  And  I  feel  that  she  belonged  to  the  Cult  for  the 
Betterment  of  Clothes-lines.  She  was  by  way  of  being  a  tester.  She  had 
to  go  across  them  hand  over  hand,  and  if  they  bore  her  weight,  they 
were  passed  by  the  censor." 

"And  if  they  didn't?" 

"Apparently  that  predicament  had  not  occurred  at  the  time  of  our 
problem,  and  so  cannot  be  considered." 

"I  think  Gryce  is  right  about  the  slumming,"  remarked  Luther 
Trant,  "but  the  reason  for  the  lady  hanging  from  the  clothes-line  is 
the  imperative  necessity  she  felt  for  a  thorough  airing,  after  her 


46  THE    ADVENTURE    OF    THE    CLOTHES-LINE 

tenemental  visitations;  there  is  a  certain  tenement  scent,  if  I  may 
express  it,  that  requires  ozone  in  quantities." 

"You're  too  material,"  said  the  Thinking  Machine,  with  a  faraway 
look  in  his  weak,  blue  eyes.  "This  lady  was  a  disciple  of  New  Thought. 
She  had  to  go  into  the  silence,  or  concentrate,  or  whatever  they  call 
it.  And  they  always  choose  strange  places  for  these  thinking  spells. 
They  have  to  have  solitude,  and,  as  I  understand  it,  the  clothes-line 
was  not  crowded?" 

Rouletabille  laughed  right  out. 

"You're  way  off,  Thinky,"  he  said.  "What  ailed  that  dame  was  just 
that  she  wanted  to  reduce.  I've  read  about  it  in  the  women's  journals. 
They  all  want  to  reduce.  They  take  all  sorts  of  crazy  exercises,  and 
this  crossing  clothes-lines  hand  over  hand  is  the  latest.  I'll  bet  it  took 
off  twenty  of  those  avoirdupois  with  which  old  Sherly  credited  her." 

"Pish  and  a  few  tushes!"  remarked  Raffles,  in  his  smart  society 
jargon.  "You  don't  fool  me.  That  clever  little  bear  was  making  up  a 
new  dance  to  thrill  society  next  winter.  You'll  see.  Sunday-paper 
headlines:  STUNNING  NEW  DANCE!  THE  CLOTHES-LINE  CLING! 
CAUGHT  ON  LIKE  WILDFIRE!  That's  what  it's  all  about.  What  do  you 

know,  eh?" 

"Go  take  a  walk,  Raffles,"  said  Holmes,  not  unkindly;  "you  re 
sleepy  yet.  Scientific  Sprague,  you  sometimes  put  over  an  abstruse 
theory,  what  do  you  say?" 

"I  didn't  need  science,"  said  Sprague,  carelessly.  "As  soon  as  1 
heard  she  had  her  hair  down,  I  jumped  to  the  correct  conclusion. 
She  had  been  washing  her  hair,  and  was  drying  it.  My  sister  always 
sticks  her  head  out  of  the  skylight;  but  this  lady's  plan  is,  I  should 
judge,  a  more  all-round  success." 

As  they  had  now  all  voiced  their  theories,  President  Holmes  rose 
to  give  them  the  inestimable  benefit  of  his  own  views. 

"Your  ideas  are  not  without  some  merit,"  he  conceded,  "but  you 
have  overlooked  the  eternal-feminine  element  in  the  problem.  As 
soon  as  I  tell  you  the  real  solution,  you  will  each  wonder  why  it 
escaped  your  notice.  The  lady  thought  she  heard  a  mouse,  so  she 
scrambled  out  of  the  window,  preferring  to  risk  her  life  on  the  perilous 
clothes-line  rather  than  stay  in  the  dwelling  where  the  mouse  was 
also.  It  is  all  very  simple.  She  was  doing  her  hair,  threw  her  head 


THE    ADVENTURE    OF    THE    CLOTHES-LINE  47 

over  forward  to  twist  it,  as  they  always  do,  and  so  espied  the  mouse 
sitting  in  the  corner." 

"Marvelous!  Holmes,  marvelous!"  exclaimed  Watson,  who  had  just 
come  back  from  his  errand. 

Even  as  they  were  all  pondering  on  Holmes's  superior  wisdom,  the 
telephone  bell  rang. 

"Are  you  there?"  said  President  Holmes,  for  he  was  ever  English 

of  speech. 

"Yes,  yes,"  returned  the  impatient  voice  of  the  chief  of  police.  "Call 
off  your  detective  workers.  We  have  discovered  who  the  lady  was 
who  crossed  the  clothes-line,  and  why  she  did  it." 

"I  can't  imagine  you  really  know,"  said  Holmes  into  the  trans- 
mitter; "but  tell  me  what  you  think." 

"A-r-r-rh!  Of  course  I  know!  It  was  just  one  of  those  confounded 
moving-picture  stunts!" 

"Indeed!  And  why  did  the  lady  kick  off  her  slipper?" 

"A-r-r-r-h!  It  was  part  of  the  fool  plot.  She's  Miss  Flossy  Flicker 
of  the  Flim-Flam  Film  Company,  doin'  the  six-reel  thriller,  'At  the 
End  of  Her  Rope.'  " 

"Ah,"  said  Holmes,  suavely,  "my  compliments  to  Miss  Flicker  on 
her  good  work." 

"Marvelous,  Holmes,  marvelous!"  said  Watson. 


Detective:  SHERLOCK  HOLMES  Narrator:  WATSON 

THE   UNIQUE   HAMLET 
by  VINCENT  STARRETT 


"The  Unique  Hamlet"  is  Vincent  Starrett's  most  devout 
achievement  in  a  lifelong  "career  of  Conan  Doyle  idolatry" 
It  is  unanimously  considered  one  of  the  finest  pure  pastiches  of 
Sherloc^  Holmes  ever  written.  Until  recently  it  existed  only  in 
a  private  edition,  printed  in  7920  for  the  friends  of  Walter  M. 
Hill.  This  slim  and  fragile  first  issue  is  one  of  the  most  eagerly 
sought  rarities  of  Holmesiana. 

Mr.  Starrett,  probably  the  outstanding  authority  on  Sher- 
lock^ in  America,  has  never  written  a  line  about  Holmes  that 
hasn't  tingled  with  interest,  speculation,  and  intimate  knowl- 
edge. His  boO\,  THE  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  SHERLOCK  HOLMES  (NeW 

Yorf(,  Macmillan,  1933)  is  easily  the  most  fascinating  wor^  of 
its  kind.  But  in  your  Editors'  opinion  one  of  the  most  pro- 
vocative paragraphs  Mr.  Starrett  ever  wrote  about  Holmes  has 
never  appeared  in  print  —  until  now.  Here  it  is  —  a  postscript 
from  one  of  Mr.  Starrett's  letters  to  your  Editors: 

"I've  always  wanted  to  do  a  synthetic  Sherlock.  —  the  begin- 
ning of  one  story,  the  middle  of  another,  and  the  conclusion  of 
a  third;  or  perhaps  six  or  eight  of  the  adventures  merged  into 
a  perfect  Holmes  tale.  I  may  yet  do  it.  The  reason  would  be  to 
produce  a  Holmes  adventure  that  I  could  completely  admire, 
and  which  would  contain  everything  I  like  —  the  opening  at 
the  breakjast  table,  with  a  page  or  two  of  deduction;  the  ap- 
pearance of  Mrs.  Hudson,  followed  instantly  by  the  troubled 
client,  who  would  fall  over  the  threshold  in  a  faint;  the  han- 
som in  the  fog,  and  so  on.  I  thin\  it  could  be  done.  I  find  when 
I  thin\  of  the  Holmes  stories  that  almost  instinctively  I  thinly 
of  just  such  a  yarn,  wonder  which  one  it  is,  then  realize  it's  a 
cento  existing  only  in  my  mind" 

Note  the  buried  line  —  "I  may  yet  do  it"  By  all  means,  Vin- 


THE    UNIQUE    HAMLET  49 

cent,  do  it!  Provided  the  estate  of  Sir  Arthur  Conan  Doyle 
grants  its  permission,  your  Editors  guarantee  to  publish  your 
cento  —  "Jhe  Adventure,  Memoir,  and  Return  of  Sherloc^ 
Holmes;  or,  His  ReaUy  Last  Bow"  -  in  the  pages  of  "Ellery 
Queen's  Mystery  Magazine." 


H, 


.OLMES,"  said  I,  one  morning  as  I  stood  in  our  bay  window, 

looking  idly  into  the  street,  "surely  here  comes  a  madman.  Someone 
has  incautiously  left  the  door  open  and  the  poor  fellow  has  slipped 
out.  What  a  pity!" 

It  was  a  glorious  morning  in  the  spring,  with  a  fresh  breeze  and 
inviting  sunlight,  but  as  it  was  early  few  persons  were  as  yet  astir. 
Birds  twittered  under  the  neighboring  eaves,  and  from  the  far  end  of 
the  thoroughfare  came  faintly  the  droning  cry  of  an  umbrella-repair 
man;  a  lean  cat  slunk  across  the  cobbles  and  disappeared  into  a 
courtway;  but  for  the  most  part  the  street  was  deserted  save  for  the 
eccentric  individual  who  had  called  forth  my  exclamation. 

My  friend  rose  lazily  from  the  chair  in  which  he  had  been  lounging, 
and  came  to  my  side,  standing  with  long  legs  spread  and  hands  in 
the  pockets  of  his  dressing  gown.  He  smiled  as  he  saw  the  singular 
personage  coming  along;  and  a  personage  indeed  he  seemed  to  be, 
despite  his  curious  actions,  for  he  was  tall  and  portly,  with  elderly 
whiskers  of  the  variety  called  mutton-chop,  and  eminently  respectable. 
He  was  loping  curiously,  like  a  tired  hound,  lifting  his  knees  high 
as  he  ran,  and  a  heavy  double  watch-chain  bounced  against  and  re- 
bounded from  the  plump  line  of  his  figured  waistcoat.  With  one  hand 
he  clutched  despairingly  at  his  silk,  two-gallon  hat,  while  with  the 
other  he  made  strange  gestures  in  the  air  in  an  emotion  bordering 
upon  distraction.  We  could  almost  see  the  spasmodic  workings  of  his 
countenance. 

"What  under  heaven  can  ail  him?"  I  cried.  "See  how  he  glances 
at  the  houses  as  he  passes." 

"He  is  looking  at  the  numbers,"  responded  Sherlock  Holmes,  with 
dancing  eyes,  "and  I  fancy  it  is  ours  that  will  bring  him  the  greatest 
happiness.  His  profession,  of  course,  is  obvious." 

"A  banker,  I  should  imagine,  or  at  least  a  person  of  affluence,"  I 


50  THE    UNIQUE    HAMLET 

ventured,  wondering  what  curious  bit  of  minutiae  had  betrayed  the 
man's  vocation  to  my  remarkable  companion,  in  a  single  glance. 

"Affluent,  yes,"  said  Holmes,  with  a  mischievous  twinkle,  "but  not 
exactly  a  banker,  Watson.  Notice  the  sagging  pockets,  despite  the 
excellence  of  his  clothing,  and  the  rather  exaggerated  madness  of  his 
eye.  He  is  a  collector,  or  I  am  very  much  mistaken." 

"My  dear  fellow!"  I  exclaimed.  "At  his  age  and  in  his  station! 
And  why  should  he  be  seeking  us  ?  When  we  settled  that  last  bill  —  " 

"Of  books,"  said  my  friend,  severely.  "He  is  a  book  collector.  His 
line  is  Caxtons,  Elzevirs,  and  Gutenberg  Bibles;  not  the  sordid  re- 
minders of  unpaid  grocery  accounts.  See,  he  is  turning  in,  as  I  ex- 
pected, and  in  a  moment  he  will  stand  upon  our  hearthrug  and  tell 
the  harrowing  tale  of  an  unique  volume  and  its  extraordinary  disap- 
pearance." 

His  eyes  gleamed  and  he  rubbed  his  hands  together  in  satisfaction. 
I  could  not  but  hope  that  his  conjecture  was  correct,  for  he  had  had 
little  recently  to  occupy  his  mind,  and  I  lived  in  constant  fear  that  he 
would  seek  that  stimulation  his  active  brain  required  in  the  long- 
tabooed  cocaine  bottle. 

As  Holmes  finished  speaking  the  doorbell  echoed  through  the 
house;  then  hurried  feet  were  sounding  on  the  stairs,  while  the 
wailing  voice  of  Mrs.  Hudson,  raised  in  protest,  could  only  have  been 
occasioned  by  frustration  of  her  coveted  privilege  of  bearing  up  our 
caller's  card.  Then  the  door  burst  violently  inward  and  the  object  of 
our  analysis  staggered  to  the  center  of  the  room  and,  without  an- 
nouncing his  intention  by  word  or  sign,  pitched  headforemost  to  our 
center  rug.  There  he  lay,  a  magnificent  ruin,  with  his  head  on  the 
fringed  border  and  his  feet  in  the  coal  scuttle;  and  sealed  within  his 
lifeless  lips  was  the  amazing  story  he  had  come  to  tell  —  for  that  it 
was  amazing  we  could  not  doubt  in  the  light  of  our  client's  ex- 
traordinary behavior. 

Sherlock  Holmes  ran  quickly  for  the  brandy  bottle,  while  I  knelt 
beside  the  stricken  man  and  loosened  his  wilted  neckband.  He  was 
not  dead,  and  when  we  had  forced  the  nozzle  of  the  flask  between  his 
teeth  he  sat  up  in  groggy  fashion,  passing  a  dazed  hand  across  his 
eyes.  Then  he  scrambled  to  his  feet  with  an  embarrassed  apology 
for  his  weakness,  and  fell  into  the  chair  which  Holmes  invitingly 
held  towards  him. 


THE    UNIQUE    HAMLET  51 

"That  is  right,  Mr.  Harrington  Edwards,"  said  my  companion, 
soothingly.  "Be  quite  calm,  my  dear  sir,  and  when  you  have  re- 
covered your  composure  you  will  find  us  ready  to  listen." 

"You  know  me  then?"  cried  our  visitor.  There  was  pride  in  his 
voice  and  he  lifted  his  eyebrows  in  surprise. 

"I  had  never  heard  of  you  until  this  moment;  but  if  you  wish  to 
conceal  your  identity  it  would  be  well,"  said  Sherlock  Holmes,  "for 
you  to  leave  your  bookplates  at  home."  As  Holmes  spoke  he  returned 
a  little  package  of  folded  paper  slips,  which  he  had  picked  from  the 
floor.  "They  fell  from  your  hat  when  you  had  the  misfortune  to 
collapse,"  he  added  whimsically. 

"Yes,  yes,"  cried  the  collector,  a  deep  blush  spreading  across  his 
features.  "I  remember  now;  my  hat  was  a  little  large  and  I  folded  a 
number  of  them  and  placed  them  beneath  the  sweatband.  I  had 
forgotten." 

"Rather  shabby  usage  for  a  handsome  etched  plate,"  smiled  my 
companion;  "but  that  is  your  affair.  And  now,  sir,  if  you  are  quite 
at  ease,  let  us  hear  what  it  is  that  has  brought  you,  a  collector  of 
books,  from  Poke  Stogis  Manor  —  the  name  is  on  the  plate  —  to  the 
office  of  Mr.  Sherlock  Holmes,  consulting  expert  in  crime.  Surely 
nothing  but  the  theft  of  Mahomet's  own  copy  of  the  Koran  can  have 
affected  you  so  strongly." 

Mr.  Harrington  Edwards  smiled  feebly  at  the  jest,  then  sighed. 
"Alas,"  he  murmured,  "if  that  were  all!  But  I  shall  begin  at  the 
beginning. 

"You  must  know,  then,  that  I  am  the  greatest  Shakespearean  com- 
mentator in  the  world.  My  collection  of  ana  is  unrivaled  and  much  of 
the  world's  collection  (and  consequently  its  knowledge  of  the 
veritable  Shakespeare)  has  emanated  from  my  pen.  One  book  I  did 
not  possess:  it  was  unique,  in  the  correct  sense  of  that  abused  word; 
the  greatest  Shakespeare  rarity  in  the  world.  Few  knew  that  it  existed, 
for  its  existence  was  kept  a  profound  secret  among  a  chosen  few. 
Had  it  become  known  that  this  book  was  in  England  —  any  place, 
indeed  —  its  owner  would  have  been  hounded  to  his  grave  by  wealthy 
Americans. 

"It  was  in  the  possession  of  my  friend  —  I  tell  you  this  in  strictest 
confidence  —  of  my  friend,  Sir  Nathaniel  Brooke-Bannerman,  whose 
place  at  Walton-on-Walton  is  next  to  my  own.  A  scant  two  hundred 


52  THE    UNIQUE    HAMLET 

yards  separate  our  dwellings;  so  intimate  has  been  our  friendship 
that  a  few  years  ago  the  fence  between  our  estates  was  removed,  and 
each  roamed  or  loitered  at  will  in  the  other's  preserves. 
"For  some  years,  now,  I  have  been  at  work  upon  my  greatest  book 

—  my  magnum  opus.  It  was  to  be  my  last  book  also,  embodying 
the  results  of  a  lifetime  of  study  and  research.  Sir,  I  know  Elizabethan 
London  better  than  any  man  alive;  better  than  any  man  who  ever 
lived,  I  think  —  "  He  burst  suddenly  into  tears. 

"There,  there,"  said  Sherlock  Holmes,  gendy.  "Do  not  be  distressed. 
Pray  continue  with  your  interesting  narrative.  What  was  this  book 

—  which,  I  take  it,  in  some  manner  has  disappeared  ?  You  borrowed 
it  from  your  friend?" 

"That  is  what  I  am  coming  to,"  said  Mr.  Harrington  Edwards, 
drying  his  tears,  "but  as  for  help,  Mr.  Holmes,  I  fear  that  is  beyond 
even  you.  As  you  surmise,  I  needed  this  book.  Knowing  its  value, 
which  could  not  be  fixed,  for  the  book  is  priceless,  and  knowing  Sir 
Nathaniel's  idolatry  of  it,  I  hesitated  before  asking  for  the  loan  of  it. 
But  I  had  to  have  it,  for  without  it  my  work  could  not  have  been 
completed,  and  at  length  I  made  my  request.  I  suggested  that  I  visit 
him  in  his  home  and  go  through  the  volume  under  his  eyes,  he  sitting 
at  my  side  throughout  my  entire  examination,  and  servants  stationed 
at  every  door  and  window,  with  fowling  pieces  in  their  hands. 

"You  can  imagine  my  astonishment  when  Sir  Nathaniel  laughed 
at  my  precautions.  'My  dear  Edwards,'  he  said,  'that  would  be  all 
very  well  were  you  Arthur  Bambidge  or  Sir  Homer  Nantes  (men- 
tioning the  two  great  men  of  the  British  Museum),  or  were  you  Mr. 
Henry  Hutterson,  the  American  railway  magnate;  but  you  are  my 
friend  Harrington  Edwards,  and  you  shall  take  the  book  home  with 
you  for  as  long  as  you  like.'  I  protested  vigorously,  I  can  assure  you; 
but  he  would  have  it  so,  and  as  I  was  touched  by  this  mark  of  his 
esteem,  at  length  I  permitted  him  to  have  his  way.  My  God!  If  I  had 
remained  adamant!  If  I  had  only  .  .  ." 

He  broke  off  and  for  a  moment  stared  blindly  into  space.  His  eyes 
were  directed  at  the  Persian  slipper  on  the  wall,  in  the  toe  of  which 
Holmes  kept  his  tobacco,  but  we  could  see  that  his  thoughts  were 
far  away. 

"Come,  Mr.  Edwards,"  said  Holmes,  firmly.  "You  are  agitating 


THE    UNIQUE    HAMLET  53 

yourself  unduly.  And  you  are  unreasonably  prolonging  our  curiosity. 
You  have  not  yet  told  us  what  this  book  is." 

Mr.  Harrington  Edwards  gripped  the  arm  of  the  chair  in  which 
he  sat.  Then  he  spoke,  and  his  voice  was  low  and  thrilling: 

"The  book  was  a  Hamlet  quarto,  dated  1602,  presented  by  Shake- 
speare to  his  friend  Drayton,  with  an  inscription  four  lines  in  length, 
written  and  signed  by  the  Master,  himself!" 

"My  dear  sir!"  I  exclaimed.  Holmes  blew  a  long,  slow  whistle  of 
astonishment. 

"It  is  true,"  cried  the  collector.  "That  is  the  book  I  borrowed,  and 
that  is  the  book  I  lost!  The  long-sought  quarto  of  1602,  actually  in- 
scribed in  Shakespeare's  own  hand!  His  greatest  drama,  in  an  edition 
dated  a  year  earlier  than  any  that  is  known;  a  perfect  copy,  and  with 
four  lines  in  his  own  handwriting!  Unique!  Extraordinary!  Amaz- 
ing! Astounding!  Colossal!  Incredible!  Un  — " 

He  seemed  wound  up  to  continue  indefinitely;  but  Holmes,  who 
had  sat  quite  still  at  first,  shocked  by  the  importance  of  the  loss, 
interrupted  the  flow  of  adjectives. 

"I  appreciate  your  emotion,  Mr.  Edwards,"  he  said,  "and  the  book 
is  indeed  all  that  you  say  it  is.  Indeed,  it  is  so  important  that  we 
must  at  once  attack  the  problem  of  rediscovering  it.  Compose  your- 
self, my  dear  sir,  and  tell  us  of  the  loss.  The  book,  I  take  it,  is  readily 

identifiable?" 

"Mr.  Holmes,"  said  our  client,  earnestly,  "it  would  be  impossible 
to  hide  it.  It  is  so  important  a  volume  that,  upon  coming  into  its 
possession,  Sir  Nathaniel  Brooke-Bannerman  called  a  consultation 
of  the  great  binders  of  the  Empire,  at  which  were  present  Mr.  Riviere, 
Messrs.  Sangorski  and  Sutclifle,  Mr.  Zaehnsdorf,  and  certain  others. 
They  and  myself,  with  two  others,  alone  know  of  the  book's  existence. 
When  I  tell  you  that  it  is  bound  in  brown  levant  morocco,  with  leather 
joints  and  brown  levant  doublures  and  fly-leaves,  the  whole  elabo- 
rately gold-tooled,  inlaid  with  seven  hundred  and  fifty  separate 
pieces  of  various  colored  leathers,  and  enriched  by  the  insertion  of 
eighty-seven  precious  stones,  I  need  not  add  that  it  is  a  design  that 
never  will  be  duplicated,  and  I  mention  only  a  few  of  its  glories.  The 
binding  was  personally  done  by  Messrs.  Riviere,  Sangorski,  Sutcliffe, 
and  Zaehnsdorf,  working  alternately,  and  is  a  work  of  such  en- 


54  THE    UNIQUE    HAMLET 

chantment  that  any  man  might  gladly  die  a  thousand  deaths  for 
the  privilege  of  owning  it  for  twenty  minutes." 

"Dear  me,"  quoth  Sherlock  Holmes,  "it  must  indeed  be  a  handsome 
volume,  and  from  your  description,  together  with  a  realization  of 
importance  by  reason  of  its  association,  I  gather  that  it  is  something 
beyond  what  might  be  termed  a  valuable  book." 

"Priceless!"  cried  Mr.  Harrington  Edwards.  "The  combined  wealth 
of  India,  Mexico,  and  Wall  Street  would  be  all  too  little  for  its 
purchase." 

"You  are  anxious  to  recover  this  book?"  asked  Sherlock  Holmes, 
looking  at  him  keenly. 

"My  God!"  shrieked  the  collector,  rolling  up  his  eyes  and  clawing 
at  the  air  with  his  hands.  "Do  you  suppose  —  " 

"Tut,  tut!"  Holmes  interrupted.  "I  was  only  testing  you.  It  is 
a  book  that  might  move  even  you,  Mr.  Harrington  Edwards,  to 
theft  —  but  we  may  put  aside  that  notion.  Your  emotion  is  too  sincere, 
and  besides  you  know  too  well  the  difficulties  of  hiding  such  a  volume 
as  you  describe.  Indeed,  only  a  very  daring  man  would  purloin  it 
and  keep  it  long  in  his  possession.  Pray  tell  us  how  you  came  to  lose  it." 

Mr.  Harrington  Edwards  seized  the  brandy  flask,  which  stood  at 
his  elbow,  and  drained  it  at  a  gulp.  With  the  renewed  strength  thus 
obtained,  he  continued  his  story : 

"As  I  have  said,  Sir  Nathaniel  forced  me  to  accept  the  loan  of 
the  book,  much  against  my  wishes.  On  the  evening  that  I  called 
for  it,  he  told  me  that  two  of  his  servants,  heavily  armed,  would  ac- 
company me  across  the  grounds  to  my  home.  'There  is  no  danger,' 
he  said,  'but  you  will  feel  better';  and  I  heartily  agreed  with  him. 
How  shall  I  tell  you  what  happened  ?  Mr.  Holmes,  it  was  those  very 
servants  who  assailed  me  and  robbed  me  of  my  priceless  borrowing!" 

Sherlock  Holmes  rubbed  his  lean  hands  with  satisfaction.  "Splen- 
did!" he  murmured.  "This  is  a  case  after  my  own  heart.  Watson, 
these  are  deep  waters  in  which  we  are  adventuring.  But  you  are 
rather  lengthy  about  this,  Mr.  Edwards.  Perhaps  it  will  help  matters 
if  I  ask  you  a  few  questions.  By  what  road  did  you  go  to  your  home  ?" 

"By  the  main  road,  a  good  highway  which  lies  in  front  of  our  estates. 
I  preferred  it  to  the  shadows  of  the  wood." 

"And  there  were  some  two  hundred  yards  between  your  doors.  At 
what  point  did  the  assault  occur?" 


THE    UNIQUE    HAMLET  55 

"Almost  midway  between  the  two  entrance  drives,  I  should  say." 
"There  was  no  light?" 
"That  of  the  moon  only." 

"Did  you  know  these  servants  who  accompanied  you?" 
"One  I  knew  slightly;  the  other  I  had  not  seen  before." 
"Describe  them  to  me,  please." 

"The  man  who  is  known  to  me  is  called  Miles.  He  is  clean-shaven, 
short  and  powerful,  although  somewhat  elderly.  He  was  known,  I 
believe,  as  Sir  Nathaniel's  most  trusted  servant;  he  had  been  with  Sir 
Nathaniel  for  years.  I  cannot  describe  him  minutely  for,  of  course, 
I  never  paid  much  attention  to  him.  The  other  was  tall  and  thickset, 
and  wore  a  heavy  beard.  He  was  a  silent  fellow;  I  do  not  believe  he 
spoke  a  word  during  the  journey." 
"Miles  was  more  communicative?" 

"Oh  yes  —  even  garrulous,  perhaps.  He  talked  about  the  weather 
and  the  moon,  and  I  forget  what  all." 
"Never  about  books?" 

"There  was  no  mention  of  books  between  any  of  us." 
"Just  how  did  the  attack  occur?" 

"It  was  very  sudden.  We  had  reached,  as  I  say,  about  the  halfway 
point,  when  the  big  man  seized  me  by  the  throat  —  to  prevent  out- 
cry, I  suppose  —  and  on  the  instant,  Miles  snatched  the  volume  from 
my  grasp  and  was  off.  In  a  moment  his  companion  followed  him. 
I  had  been  half  throttled  and  could  not  immediately  cry  out;  but 
when  I  could  articulate,  I  made  the  countryside  ring  with  my  cries. 
I  ran  after  them,  but  failed  even  to  catch  another  sight  of  them.  They 
had  disappeared  completely." 
"Did  you  all  leave  the  house  together?" 

"Miles  and  I  left  together;  the  second  man  joined  us  at  the  porter's 
lodge.  He  had  been  attending  to  some  of  his  duties." 
"And  Sir  Nathaniel  —  where  was  he?" 
"He  said  good  night  on  the  threshold." 
"What  has  he  had  to  say  about  all  this?" 
"I  have  not  told  him." 

"You  have  not  told  him!"  echoed  Sherlock  Holmes,  in  astonish- 
ment. 

"I  have  not  dared,"  confessed  our  client  miserably.  "It  will  kill 
him.  That  book  was  the  breath  of  his  life." 


56  THE    UNIQUE    HAMLET 

"When  did  all  this  occur?"  I  put  in,  with  a  glance  at  Holmes. 

"Excellent,  Watson,"  said  my  friend,  answering  my  glance.  "I  was 
about  to  ask  the  same  question." 

"Just  last  night,"  was  Mr.  Harrington  Edwards's  reply.  "I  was  crazy 
most  of  the  night,  and  didn't  sleep  a  wink.  I  came  to  you  the  first 
thing  this  morning.  Indeed,  I  tried  to  raise  you  on  the  telephone, 
last  night,  but  could  not  establish  a  connection." 

"Yes,"  said  Holmes,  reminiscently,  "we  were  attending  Mme.  Tren- 
tini's  first  night.  You  remember,  Watson,  we  dined  later  at  Albani's." 

"Oh,  Mr.  Holmes,  do  you  think  you  can  help  me?"  cried  the  abject 
collector. 

"I  trust  so,"  answered  my  friend,  cheerfully.  "Indeed,  I  am  certain 
I  can.  Such  a  book,  as  you  remark,  is  not  easily  hidden.  What  say 
you,  Watson,  to  a  run  down  to  Walton-on- Walton?" 

"There  is  a  train  in  half  an  hour,"  said  Mr.  Harrington  Edwards, 
looking  at  his  watch.  "Will  you  return  with  me?" 

"No,  no,"  laughed  Holmes,  "that  would  never  do.  We  must  not 
be  seen  together  just  yet,  Mr.  Edwards.  Go  back  yourself  on  the  first 
train,  by  all  means,  unless  you  have  further  business  in  London.  My 
friend  and  I  will  go  together.  There  is  another  train  this  morning?" 

"An  hour  later." 

"Excellent.  Until  we  meet,  then!" 

We  took  the  train  from  Paddington  Station  an  hour  later,  as  we 
had  promised,  and  began  our  journey  to  Walton-on- Walton,  a  pleas- 
ant, aristocratic  little  village  and  the  scene  of  the  curious  accident 
to  our  friend  of  Poke  Stogis  Manor.  Sherlock  Holmes,  lying  back  in 
his  seat,  blew  earnest  smoke  rings  at  the  ceiling  of  our  compartment, 
which  fortunately  was  empty,  while  I  devoted  myself  to  the  morning 
paper.  After  a  bit  I  tired  of  this  occupation  and  turned  to  Holmes  to 
find  him  looking  out  of  the  window,  wreathed  in  smiles,  and  quoting 
Horace  softly  under  his  breath. 

"You  have  a  theory?"  I  asked,  in  surprise. 

"It  is  a  capital  mistake  to  theorize  in  advance  of  the  evidence," 
he  replied.  "Still,  I  have  given  some  thought  to  the  interesting 
problem  of  our  friend,  Mr.  Harrington  Edwards,  and  there  are  several 
indications  which  can  point  to  only  one  conclusion." 


THE    UNIQUE    HAMLET  57 

"And  whom  do  you  believe  to  be  the  thief?" 

"My  dear  fellow,"  said  Sherlock  Holmes,  "you  forget  we  already 
know  the  thief.  Edwards  has  testified  quite  clearly  that  it  was  Miles 
who  snatched  the  volume." 

"True,"  I  admitted,  abashed.  "I  had  forgotten.  All  we  must  do, 
then,  is  to  find  Miles." 

"And  a  motive,"  added  my  friend,  chuckling.  "What  would  you 
say,  Watson,  was  the  motive  in  this  case?" 

"Jealousy,"  I  replied. 

"You  surprise  me!" 

"Miles  had  been  bribed  by  a  rival  collector,  who  in  some  manner 
had  learned  about  this  remarkable  volume.  You  remember  Edwards 
told  us  this  second  man  joined  them  at  the  lodge.  That  would  give 
an  excellent  opportunity  for  the  substitution  of  a  man  other  than  the 
servant  intended  by  Sir  Nathaniel.  Is  not  that  good  reasoning?" 

"You  surpass  yourself,  my  dear  Watson,"  murmured  Holmes.  "It  is 
excellently  reasoned,  and,  as  you  justly  observe,  the  opportunity  for 
a  substitution  was  perfect." 

"Do  you  not  agree  with  me?" 

"Hardly,  Watson.  A  rival  collector,  in  order  to  accomplish  this 
remarkable  coup,  first  would  have  to  have  known  of  the  volume,  as 
you  suggest,  but  also  he  must  have  known  upon  what  night  Mr. 
Harrington  Edwards  would  go  to  Sir  Nathaniel's  to  get  it,  which 
would  point  to  collaboration  on  the  part  of  our  client.  As  a  matter 
of  fact,  however,  Mr.  Edwards's  decision  to  accept  the  loan,  was,  I 
believe,  sudden  and  without  previous  determination." 

"I  do  not  recall  his  saying  so." 

"He  did  not  say  so,  but  it  is  a  simple  deduction.  A  book  collector 
is  mad  enough  to  begin  with,  Watson;  but  tempt  him  with  some  such 
bait  as  this  Shakespeare  quarto  and  he  is  bereft  of  all  sanity.  Mr. 
Edwards  would  not  have  been  able  to  wait.  It  was  just  the  night 
before  that  Sir  Nathaniel  promised  him  the  book,  and  it  was  just 
last  night  that  he  flew  to  accept  the  offer  —  flying,  incidentally,  to 
disaster  also.  The  miracle  is  that  he  was  able  to  wait  an  entire  day." 
"Wonderful!"  I  cried. 

"Elementary,"  said  Holmes.  "If  you  are  interested,  you  will  do  well 
to  read  Harley  Graham  on  Transcendental  Emotion;  while  I  have 


58  THE    UNIQUE    HAMLET 

myself  been  guilty  of  a  small  brochure  in  which  I  catalogue  some 
twelve  hundred  professions  and  the  emotional  effect  upon  their  mem- 
bers of  unusual  tidings,  good  and  bad." 

We  were  die  only  passengers  to  alight  at  Walton-on-Walton,  but 
rapid  inquiry  developed  that  Mr.  Harrington  Edwards  had  returned 
on  the  previous  train.  Holmes,  who  had  disguised  himself  before 
leaving  the  coach,  did  all  the  talking.  He  wore  his  cap  peak  back- 
wards, carried  a  pencil  behind  his  ear,  and  had  turned  up  the  bot- 
toms of  his  trousers;  while  from  one  pocket  dangled  the  end  of  a 
linen  tape  measure.  He  was  a  municipal  surveyor  to  the  life,  and  I 
could  not  but  think  that,  meeting  him  suddenly  in  the  highway,  I 
should  not  myself  have  known  him.  At  his  suggestion,  I  dented  the 
crown  of  my  hat  and  turned  my  jacket  inside  out.  Then  he  gave  me 
an  end  of  the  tape  measure,  while  he,  carrying  the  other,  went  on 
ahead.  In  this  fashion,  stopping  from  time  to  time  to  kneel  in  the 
dust  and  ostensibly  to  measure  sections  of  the  roadway,  we  proceeded 
toward  Poke  Stogis  Manor.  The  occasional  villagers  whom  we  en- 
countered on  their  way  to  the  station  bar  paid  us  no  more  attention 
than  if  we  had  been  rabbits. 

Shortly  we  came  in  sight  of  our  friend's  dwelling,  a  picturesque 
and  rambling  abode,  sitting  far  back  in  its  own  grounds  and  bordered 
by  a  square  of  sentinel  oaks.  A  gravel  pathway  led  from  the  roadway 
to  the  house  entrance  and,  as  we  passed,  the  sunlight  struck  fire 
from  an  antique  brass  knocker  on  the  door.  The  whole  picture,  with 
its  background  of  gleaming  countryside,  was  one  of  rural  calm  and 
comfort;  we  could  with  difficulty  believe  it  the  scene  of  die  sinister 
tragedy  we  were  come  to  investigate. 

"We  shall  not  enter  yet,"  said  Sherlock  Holmes,  passing  the  gate 
leading  into  our  client's  acreage;  "but  we  shall  endeavor  to  be  back 
in  time  for  luncheon." 

From  this  point  the  road  progressed  downward  in  a  gentle  incline 
and  the  trees  were  thicker  on  either  side  of  the  road.  Sherlock  Holmes 
kept  his  eyes  stolidly  on  the  path  before  us,  and  when  we  had  covered 
about  one  hundred  yards  he  stopped.  "Here,"  he  said,  pointing,  "the 
assault  occurred." 

I  looked  closely  at  the  earth,  but  could  see  no  sign  of  struggle. 

"You  recall  it  was  midway  between  the  two  houses  that  it  hap- 


THE    UNIQUE    HAMLET  59 

pened,"  he  continued.  "No,  there  are  few  signs;  there  was  no  violent 
tussle.  Fortunately,  however,  we  had  our  proverbial  fall  of  rain  last 
evening  and  the  earth  has  retained  impressions  nicely."  He  indicated 
the  faint  imprint  of  a  foot,  then  another,  and  still  another.  Kneeling 
down,  I  was  able  to  see  that,  indeed,  many  feet  had  passed  along  the 

road. 

Holmes  flung  himself  at  full  length  in  the  dirt  and  wriggled  swiftly 
about,  his  nose  to  the  earth,  muttering  rapidly  in  French.  Then  he 
whipped  out  a  glass,  the  better  to  examine  something  that  had  caught 
his  eye;  but  in  a  moment  he  shook  his  head  in  disappointment  and 
continued  with  his  exploration.  I  was  irresistibly  reminded  of  a 
noble  hound,  at  fault,  sniffing  in  circles  in  an  effort  to  re-establish  a 
lost  scent.  In  a  moment,  however,  he  had  it,  for  with  a  little  cry  of 
pleasure  he  rose  to  his  feet,  zigzagged  curiously  across  the  road  and 
paused  before  a  hedge,  a  lean  finger  pointing  accusingly  at  a  break 
in  the  thicket. 

"No  wonder  they  disappeared,"  he  smiled  as  I  came  up.  "Edwards 
thought  they  continued  up  the  road,  but  here  is  where  they  broke 
through."  Then  stepping  back  a  little  distance,  he  ran  forward  lightly 
and  cleared  the  hedge  at  a  bound,  alighting  on  his  hands  on  the 

other  side. 

"Follow  me  carefully,"  he  warned,  "for  we  must  not  allow  our  own 
footprints  to  confuse  us."  I  fell  more  heavily  than  my  companion,  but 
in  a  moment  he  had  me  by  the  heels  and  helped  me  to  steady  myself. 
"See,"  he  cried,  lowering  his  face  to  the  earth;  and  deep  in  the  mud 
and  grass  I  saw  the  prints  of  two  pairs  of  feet. 

"The  small  man  broke  through,"  said  Sherlock  Holmes,  exultantly, 
"but  the  larger  rascal  leaped  over  the  hedge.  See  how  deeply  his 
prints  are  marked;  he  landed  heavily  here  in  the  soft  ooze.  It  is 
significant,  Watson,  that  they  came  this  way.  Does  it  suggest  nothing 

to  you?" 

"That  they  were  men  who  knew  Edwards's  grounds  as  well  as 
the  Brooke-Bannerman  estate,"  I  answered;  and  thrilled  with  pleasure 
at  my  friend's  nod  of  approbation. 

He  lowered  himself  to  his  stomach,  without  further  conversation, 
and  for  some  moments  we  crawled  painfully  across  the  grass.  Then 
a  shocking  thought  occurred  to  me. 


60  THE    UNIQUE    HAMLET 

"Holmes,"  I  whispered  in  horror,  "do  you  see  where  these  foot- 
prints tend?  They  are  directed  toward  the  home  of  our  client,  Mr. 
Harrington  Edwards!" 

He  nodded  his  head  slowly,  and  his  lips  were  tight  and  thin.  The 
double  line  of  impressions  ended  abruptly  at  the  back  door  of  Poke 
Stogis  Manor! 

Sherlock  Holmes  rose  to  his  feet  and  looked  at  his  watch. 

"We  are  just  in  time  for  luncheon,"  he  announced,  and  brushed 
off  his  garments.  Then,  deliberately,  he  knocked  upon  the  door.  In 
a  few  moments  we  were  in  the  presence  of  our  client. 

"We  have  been  roaming  about  the  neighborhood,"  apologized  the 
detective,  "and  took  the  liberty  of  coming  to  your  rear  door." 

"You  have  a  clue?"  asked  Mr.  Harrington  Edwards,  eagerly. 

A  queer  smile  of  triumph  sat  upon  Holmes's  lips. 

"Indeed,"  he  said,  quietly,  "I  believe  I  have  solved  your  little 
problem,  Mr.  Harrington  Edwards." 

"My  dear  Holmes!"  I  cried,  and  "My  dear  sir!"  cried  our  client. 

"I  have  yet  to  establish  a  motive,"  confessed  my  friend;  "but  as  to 
the  main  facts  there  can  be  no  question." 

Mr.  Harrington  Edwards  fell  into  a  chair;  he  was  white  and 
shaking. 

"The  book,"  he  croaked.  "Tell  me!" 

"Patience,  my  good  sir,"  counseled  Holmes,  kindly.  "We  have  had 
nothing  to  eat  since  sunup,  and  we  are  famished.  All  in  good  time. 
Let  us  first  dine  and  then  all  shall  be  made  clear.  Meanwhile,  I  should 
like  to  telephone  to  Sir  Nathaniel  Brooke-Bannerman,  for  I  wish  him 
also  to  hear  what  I  have  to  say." 

Our  client's  pleas  were  in  vain.  Holmes  would  have  his  little  joke 
and  his  luncheon.  In  the  end,  Mr.  Harrington  Edwards  staggered 
away  to  the  kitchen  to  order  a  repast,  and  Sherlock  Holmes  talked 
rapidly  and  unintelligibly  into  the  telephone  and  came  back  with  a 
smile  on  his  face.  But  I  asked  no  questions;  in  good  time  this  extraor- 
dinary man  would  tell  his  story  in  his  own  way.  I  had  heard  all 
that  he  had  heard,  and  had  seen  all  that  he  had  seen;  yet  I  was 
completely  at  sea.  Still,  our  host's  ghastly  smile  hung  heavily  in  my 
mind,  and  come  what  would  I  felt  sorry  for  him.  In  a  little  time  we 
were  sealed  at  table.  Our  client,  haggard  and  nervous,  ate  slowly 
and  with  apparent  discomfort;  his  eyes  were  never  long  absent 


THE    UNIQUE    HAMLET  6l 

from  Holmes's  inscrutable  face.  I  was  little  better  off,  but  Sherlock 
Holmes  ate  with  gusto,  relating  meanwhile  a  number  of  his  earlier 
adventures  —  which  I  may  someday  give  to  the  world,  if  I  am  able 
to  read  my  illegible  notes  made  on  the  occasion. 

When  the  sorry  meal  had  been  concluded  we  went  into  the  library, 
where  Sherlock  Holmes  took  possession  of  the  easiest  chair  with  an 
air  of  proprietorship  that  would  have  been  amusing  in  other  cir- 
cumstances. He  screwed  together  his  long  pipe  and  lighted  it  with 
almost  malicious  lack  of  haste,  while  Mr.  Harrington  Edwards 
perspired  against  the  mantel  in  an  agony  of  apprehension. 

"Why  must  you  keep  us  waiting,  Mr.  Holmes?"  he  whispered. 
"Tell  us,  at  once,  please,  who  —  who  —  "  His  voice  trailed  off  into 
a  moan. 

"The  criminal,"  said  Sherlock  Holmes,  smoothly,  "is  - 

"Sir  Nathaniel  Brooke-Bannerman!"  said  a  maid,  suddenly,  put- 
ting her  head  in  at  the  door;  and  on  the  heels  of  her  announcement 
stalked  the  handsome  baronet,  whose  priceless  volume  had  caused 
all  this  commotion  and  unhappiness. 

Sir  Nathaniel  was  white,  and  he  appeared  ill.  He  burst  at  once 
into  talk. 

"I  have  been  much  upset  by  your  call,"  he  said,  looking  meanwhile 
at  our  client.  "You  say  you  have  something  to  tell  me  about  the 
quarto.  Don't  say  —  that  —  anything  —  has  happened  — to  it!"  He 
clutched  nervously  at  the  wall  to  steady  himself,  and  I  felt  deep  pity 
for  the  unhappy  man. 

Mr.  Harrington  Edwards  looked  at  Sherlock  Holmes.  "Oh,  Mr. 
Holmes,"  he  cried,  pathetically,  "why  did  you  send  for  him?" 

"Because,"  said  my  friend,  "I  wish  him  to  hear  the  truth  about 
the  Shakespeare  quarto.  Sir  Nathaniel,  I  believe  you  have  not  been 
told  as  yet  that  Mr.  Edwards  was  robbed,  last  night,  of  your  precious 
volume  —  robbed  by  the  trusted  servants  whom  you  sent  with  him 
to  protect  it." 

"•What!"  screamed  the  titled  collector.  He  staggered  and  fumbled 
madly  at  his  heart,  then  collapsed  into  a  chair.  "My  God!"  he  mut- 
tered, and  then  again:  "My  God!" 

"I  should  have  thought  you  would  have  been  suspicious  of  evil 
when  your  servants  did  not  return,"  pursued  the  detective. 

"I  have  not  seen  them,"  whispered  Sir  Nathaniel.  "I  do  not  mingle 


62  THE    UNIQUE    HAMLET 

with  my  servants.  I  did  not  know  they  had  failed  to  return.  Tell 
me -tell  me  all!" 
"Mr.  Edwards,"  said  Sherlock  Holmes,  turning  to  our  client,  "will 

you  repeat  your  story,  please?" 

Mr.  Harrington  Edwards,  thus  adjured,  told  the  unhappy  tale 
again,  ending  with  a  heartbroken  cry  of  "Oh,  Nathaniel,  can  you  ever 

forgive  me?" 

"I  do  not  know  that  it  was  entirely  your  fault,"  observed  Holmes, 
cheerfully.  "Sir  Nathaniel's  own  servants  are  the  guilty  ones,  and 
surely  he  sent  them  with  you." 

"But  you  said  you  had  solved  the  case,  Mr.  Holmes,"  cried  our 
client,  in  a  frenzy  of  despair. 

"Yes,"  agreed  Holmes,  "it  is  solved.  You  have  had  the  clue  in  your 
own  hands  ever  since  the  occurrence,  but  you  did  not  know  how  to 
use  it.  It  all  turns  upon  the  curious  actions  of  the  taller  servant,  prior 
to  the  assault." 

"The  actions  of  —  "  stammered  Mr.  Harrington  Edwards.  "Why, 
he  did  nothing  —  said  nothing!" 

"That  is  the  curious  circumstance,"  said  Sherlock  Holmes. 

Sir  Nathaniel  got  to  his  feet  with  difficulty. 

"Mr.  Holmes,"  he  said,  "this  has  upset  me  more  than  I  can  tell 
you.  Spare  no  pains  to  recover  the  book  and  to  bring  to  justice  the 
scoundrels  who  stole  it.  But  I  must  go  away  and  think  —  think  —  " 

"Stay,"  said  my  friend.  "I  have  already  caught  one  of  them." 

"What!  Where?"  cried  the  two  collectors  together. 

"Here,"  said  Sherlock  Holmes,  and  stepping  forward  he  laid  a 
hand  on  the  baronet's  shoulder.  "You,  Sir  Nathaniel,  were  the  taller 
servant;  you  were  one  of  the  thieves  who  throttled  Mr.  Harrington 
Edwards  and  took  from  him  your  own  book.  And  now,  sir,  will  you 

tell  us  why  you  did  it?" 

Sir  Nathaniel  Brooke-Bannerman  toppled  and  would  have  fallen 
had  not  I  rushed  forward  and  supported  him.  I  placed  him  in  a  chair. 
As  we  looked  at  him  we  saw  confession  in  his  eyes;  guilt  was  written 
in  his  haggard  face. 

"Come,  come,"  said  Holmes,  impatiently.  "Or  will  it  make  it 
easier  for  you  if  I  tell  the  story  as  it  occurred?  Let  it  be  so,  then. 
You  parted  with  Mr.  Harrington  Edwards  on  your  doorsill,  Sir 
Nathaniel,  bidding  your  best  friend  good  night  with  a  smile  on 


THE    UNIQUE    HAMLET  63 

your  lips  and  evil  in  your  heart.  And  as  soon  as  you  had  closed  the 
door,  you  slipped  into  an  enveloping  raincoat,  turned  up  your  collar, 
and  hastened  by  a  shorter  road  to  the  porter's  lodge,  where  you  joined 
Mr.  Edwards  and  Miles  as  one  of  your  own  servants.  You  spoke  no 
word  at  any  time,  because  you  feared  to  speak.  You  were  afraid  Mr. 
Edwards  would  recognize  your  voice,  while  your  beard,  hastily  as- 
sumed, protected  your  face  and  in  the  darkness  your  figure  passed 
unnoticed. 

"Having  strangled  and  robbed  your  best  friend,  then,  of  your  own 
book,  you  and  your  scoundrelly  assistant  fled  across  Mr.  Edwards's 
fields  to  his  own  back  door,  thinking  that,  if  investigation  followed, 
I  would  be  called  in,  and  would  trace  those  footprints  and  fix  the 
crime  upon  Mr.  Harrington  Edwards  —  as  part  of  a  criminal  plan, 
prearranged  with  your  rascally  servants,  who  would  be  supposed  to 
be  in  the  pay  of  Mr.  Edwards  and  the  ringleaders  in  a  counterfeit 
assault  upon  his  person.  Your  mistake,  sir,  was  in  ending  your  trail 
abruptly  at  Mr.  Edwards's  back  door.  Had  you  left  another  trail, 
then,  leading  back  to  your  own  domicile,  I  should  unhesitatingly  have 
arrested  Mr.  Harrington  Edwards  for  the  theft. 

"Surely  you  must  know  that  in  criminal  cases  handled  by  me, 
it  is  never  the  obvious  solution  that  is  the  correct  one.  The  mere  fact 
that  the  finger  of  suspicion  is  made  to  point  at  a  certain  individual 
is  sufficient  to  absolve  that  individual  from  guilt.  Had  you  read  the 
little  works  of  my  friend  and  colleague,  Dr.  Watson,  you  would  not 
have  made  such  a  mistake.  Yet  you  claim  to  be  a  bookman!" 
A  low  moan  from  the  unhappy  baronet  was  his  only  answer. 
"To  continue,  however:  there  at  Mr.  Edwards's  own  back  door 

you  ended  your  trail,  entering  his  house  — his  own  house  — and 

spending  the  night  under  his  roof,  while  his  cries  and  ravings  over 

his  loss  filled  the  night  and  brought  joy  to  your  unspeakable  soul. 

And  in  the  morning,  when  he  had  gone  forth  to  consult  me,  you 

quietly  left  —  you  and  Miles  —  and  returned  to  your  own  place  by 

the  beaten  highway." 
"Mercy!"  cried  the  defeated  wretch,  cowering  in  his  chair.  "If  it 

is  made  public,  I  am  ruined.  I  was  driven  to  it.  I  could  not  let  Mr. 

Edwards  examine  the  book,  for  that  way  exposure  would  follow; 

yet  I  could  nor  refuse  him  — my  best  friend  — when  he  asked  its 

loan." 


64  THE    UNIQUE    HAMLET 

"Your  words  tell  me  all  that  I  did  not  know,"  said  Sherlock 
Holmes,  sternly.  "The  motive  now  is  only  too  plain.  The  work,  sir, 
was  a  forgery,  and  knowing  that  your  erudite  friend  would  discove? 
it,  you  chose  to  blacken  his  name  to  save  your  own.  Was  the  book 
insured?" 

"Insured  for  ^100,000,  he  told  me,"  interrupted  Mr.  Harrington 
Edwards,  excitedly. 

"So  that  he  planned  at  once  to  dispose  of  this  dangerous  and 
dubious  item,  and  to  reap  a  golden  reward,"  commented  Holmes. 
"Come,  sir,  tell  us  about  it.  How  much  of  it  was  forgery?  Merely 
the  inscription?" 

"I  will  tell  you,"  said  the  baronet,  suddenly,  "and  throw  myself 
upon  the  mercy  of  my  friend,  Mr.  Edwards.  The  whole  book,  in 
effect,  was  a  forgery.  It  was  originally  made  up  of  two  imperfect 
copies  of  the  1604  quarto.  Out  of  the  pair  I  made  one  perfect  volume, 
and  a  skillful  workman,  now  dead,  changed  the  date  for  me  so 
cleverly  that  only  an  expert  of  the  first  water  could  have  detected  it. 
Such  an  expert,  however,  is  Mr.  Harrington  Edwards  —  the  one  man 
in  the  world  who  could  have  unmasked  me." 

"Thank  you,  Nathaniel,"  said  Mr.  Harrington  Edwards,  grate- 
fully. 

"The  inscription,  of  course,  also  was  forged,"  continued  the  baronet, 
"You  may  as  well  know  everything." 

"And  the  book?"  asked  Holmes.  "Where  did  you  destroy  it?" 

A  grim  smile  settled  on  Sir  Nathaniel's  features.  "It  is  even  now 
burning  in  Mr.  Edwards's  own  furnace,"  he  said. 

"Then  it  cannot  yet  be  consumed,"  cried  Holmes,  and  dashed  into 
the  cellar.  He  was  absent  for  some  time  and  we  heard  the  clinking 
of  bottles  and,  finally,  the  clang  of  a  great  metal  door.  He  emerged, 
some  moments  later,  in  high  spirits,  carrying  a  charred  leaf  of  paper 
in  his  hand. 

"It  is  a  pity,"  he  cried,  "a  pity!  In  spite  of  its  questionable  authen- 
ticity, it  was  a  noble  specimen.  It  is  only  half  consumed;  but  let  it 
burn  away.  I  have  preserved  one  leaf  as  a  souvenir  of  the  occasion." 
He  folded  it  carefully  and  placed  it  in  his  wallet.  "Mr.  Harrington 
Edwards,  I  fancy  the  decision  in  this  matter  is  for  you  to  announce. 
Sir  Nathaniel,  of  course,  must  make  no  effort  to  collect  the  insurance." 

"Let  us  forget  it,  then,"  said  Mr.  Harrington  Edwards,  with  a 


THE    UNIQUE    HAMLET  65 

sigh.  "Let  it  be  a  sealed  chapter  in  the  history  of  bibliomania."  He 
looked  at  Sir  Nathaniel  Brooke-Bannerman  for  a  long  moment,  then 
held  out  his  hand.  "I  forgive  you,  Nathaniel,"  he  said,  simply. 

Their  hands  met;  tears  stood  in  the  baronet's  eyes.  Powerfully 
moved,  Holmes  and  I  turned  from  the  affecting  scene  and  crept  to 
the  door  unnoticed.  In  a  moment  the  free  air  was  blowing  on  our 
temples,  and  we  were  coughing  the  dust  of  the  library  from  our 
lungs. 

"They  are  a  strange  people,  these  book  collectors,"  mused  Sherlock 
Holmes,  as  we  rattled  back  to  town. 

"My  only  regret  is  that  I  shall  be  unable  to  publish  my  notes  on 
this  interesting  case,"  I  responded. 

"Wait  a  bit,  my  dear  Doctor,"  counseled  Holmes,  "and  it  will 
be  possible.  In  time  both  of  them  will  come  to  look  upon  it  as  a 
hugely  diverting  episode,  and  will  tell  it  upon  themselves.  Then  your 
notes  shall  be  brought  forth  and  the  history  of  another  of  Mr.  Sher- 
lock Holmes's  little  problems  shall  be  given  to  the  world." 

"It  will  always  be  a  reflection  upon  Sir  Nathaniel,"  I  demurred. 

"He  will  glory  in  it,"  prophesied  Sherlock  Holmes.  "He  will  go 
down  in  bookish  chronicle  with  Chatterton,  and  Ireland,  and  Payne 
Collier.  Mark  my  words,  he  is  not  blind  even  now  to  the  chance 
this  gives  him  for  a  sinister  immortality.  He  will  be  the  first  to  tell 
it."  (And  so,  indeed,  it  proved,  as  this  narrative  suggests.) 

"But  why  did  you  preserve  the  leaf  from  Hamlet?"  I  inquired. 
"Why  not  a  jewel  from  the  binding?" 

Sherlock  Holmes  laughed  heartily.  Then  he  slowly  unfolded  the 
leaf  in  question,  and  directed  a  humorous  finger  to  a  spot  upon  the 

page. 

"A  fancy,"  he  responded,  "to  preserve  so  accurate  a  characteriza- 
tion of  either  of  our  friends.  The  line  is  a  real  jewel.  See,  the  good 
Polonius  says:  'That  he  is  mad,  'tis  true:  'tis  true  'tis  pittie;  and  pittie 
it  is  true.'  There  is  as  much  sense  in  Master  Will  as  in  Hafiz  or 
Confucius,  and  a  greater  felicity  of  expression.  .  .  .  Here  is  London, 
and  now,  my  dear  Watson,  if  we  hasten  we  shall  be  just  in  time  for 
Zabriski's  matinee!" 


Detective:  SHERLOCK  HOLMES 

Narrator:  BERTIE  (!)  WATSON 


HOLMES   AND   THE   DASHER 

by  ANTHONY  BERKELEY 


In  his  delightful  boof{  of  satires,  JUGGED  JOURNALISM  (London, 
Jenkins,  1925),  A.  B.  Cox— alias  Anthony  Berkeley,  alias  Fran- 
cis lies— included  as  Lesson  XIX  in  the  Art  of  Writing  a  hu- 
morous dissertation  on  "Literary  Style"  He  posed  to  himself 
the  fruity  problem  of  how  another  famous  author  would,  "with 
all  due  reverence"  write  a  Sherloc{  Holmes  story.  But  let  An- 
thony Berkeley  Cox,  the  droll  fellow  responsible  for  this  bi- 
blasphemous,  this  semi-sacrilegious  parody,  spea\  for  himself: 

"Suppose,  for  example,  that  Dr.  Conan  Doyle,  having  been 
as\ed  to  supply  a  Sherloc^  Holmes  story  to  a  certain  magazine, 
suddenly  developed  measles  or  thought  he  would  rather  play 
golf  instead,  and  so  handed  the  thing  over  to  Mr.  P.  G.  W ode- 
house  to  write  for  him.  Would  Mr.  Wodehouse  then  write  the 
story  in  the  style  of  Dr.  Doyle?  Certainly  not,  for  that  would 
be  very  naughty  indeed;  it  is  one  of  the  first  rules  of  literary 
technique  that  you  must  never  slavishly  copy  the  style  of  an- 
other writer. 

"No,  he  would  write  it  in  his  own  style,  thus:  .  .   " 


I 


_T  WAS  a  pretty  rotten  sort  of  day  in  March,  I  remember,  that  dear 
old  Holmes  and  I  were  sitting  in  the  ancestral  halls  in  Baker  Street, 
putting  in  a  quiet  bit  of  meditation.  At  least  Holmes  was  exercising 
the  good  old  gray  matter  over  a  letter  that  had  just  come,  while  I 
was  relaxing  gently  in  an  armchair. 

"What-ho,  Watson,  old  fruit,"  he  said  at  last,  tossing  the  letter 
over  to  me.  "What  does  that  mass  of  alluvial  deposit  you  call  a  brain 
make  of  this,  what,  what?" 


HOLMES    AND    THE    DASHER 

The  letter  went  something  like  this,  as  far  as  I  can  remember;  at 
least,  I  may  not  have  got  all  the  words  quite  right,  but  this  was  the 
sort  of  gist  of  it,  if  you  take  me : 

Jolly  old  Mr.  Holmes,  — I  shall  be  rolling  round  at  about  three 
o'clock  to  discuss  a  pretty  ripe  little  problem  with  you.  It's  like  this. 
Freddie  Devereux  asked  me  to  marry  him  last  night,  as  I  can  prove 
with  witnesses;  but  this  morning  he  says  he  must  have  been  a  bit  over 
the  edge  (a  trifle  sozzled,  if  you  get  me),  and  that  a  proposal  doesn't 
count  in  the  eyes  of  the  rotten  old  Law  if  made  under  the  influence 
of  friend  Demon  Rum,  as  it  were.  Well,  what  I  mean  is  —  what 
about  it?  In  other  words,  it's  up  to  you  to  see  that  Freddie  and  I 
get  tethered  up  together  in  front  of  an  altar  in  the  pretty  near  fu- 
ture. Get  me? 

Yours  to  a  stick  of  lip  salve, 

CISSIE  CROSSGARTERS 

"Well,  Watson?"  Holmes  asked,  splashing  a  little  soda  into  his 
glass  of  cocaine.  "As  the  jolly  old  poet  says— what,  what,  what?" 

"It  seems  to  me,"  I  said,  playing  for  safety,  "that  this  is  a  letter 
from  a  girl  called  Cissie  Crossgarters,  who  wants  to  put  the  strangle- 
hold on  a  chappie  called  Devereux,  while  he's  trying  to  counter  with 
an  uppercut  from  the  jolly  old  Law.  At  least,  that  is,  if  you  take  my 
meaning." 

"It's  astounding  how  you  get  at  the  heart  of  things,  Watson,"  said 
Holmes,  in  that  dashed  sneering  way  of  his.  "But  it  is  already  three 
o'clock,  and  there  goes  the  bell.  If  I'm  not  barking  up  the  wrong 
tree,  this  will  be  our  client.  Cissie  Crossgarters!"  he  added  rumina- 
tively.  "Mark  my  words,  Watson,  old  laddie,  she'll  be  a  bit  of  a 
dasher.  That  is,  a  topnotcher,  as  it  were." 

In  spite  of  his  faults  I'm  bound  to  say  that  Holmes  certainly  is  the 
lad  with  the  outsize  brain;  the  fellow  simply  exudes  intuition.  The 
girl  was  a  topnotcher.  The  way  she  sailed  into  our  little  sitting  room 
reminded  me  of  a  ray  of  sunshine  lighting  up  the  good  old  Gorgon- 
zola  cheese.  I  mean,  poetry  and  bright  effects  and  whatnot. 

"Miss  Crossgarters?"  asked  Holmes,  doing  the  polite. 

"Call  me  Cissie,"  she  said,  spraying  him  with  smiles.  Oh,  she  was 
a  dasher  all  right. 

"Allow  me  to  present  my  friend,  colleague  and  whatnot,  Bertie 


68  HOLMES    AND  .THE    DASHER 

Watson,"  said  Holmes,  and  she  switched  the  smile  onto  me.  I  can 
tell  you,  I  felt  the  old  heart  thumping  like  a  motorbike  as  I  squeezed 
the  tiny  little  hand  she  held  out  to  me.  I  mean,  it  was  so  dashed  small. 
In  fact,  tiny,  if  you  get  me.  I  mean  to  say,  it  was  such  a  dashed  tiny 
little  hand. 

"Well?"  said  Holmes,  when  we  were  all  seated,  looking  his  most 
hatchet-faced  and  sleuthiest.  "And  what  about  everything,  as  it  were? 
That  is,  what,  what?" 

"You  got  my  letter?"  cooed  the  girl,  looking  at  Holmes  as  if  he 
were  the  only  man  in  the  world.  I  mean,  you  know  the  sort  of  way 
they  look  at  you  when  they  want  something  out  of  you. 

"You  bet  I  did,"  said  Holmes,  leaning  back  and  clashing  his  ringer 
tips  together,  as  was  his  habit  when  on  the  jolly  old  trail. 

"And  what  do  you  think  of  it?" 

"Ah!"  said  Holmes,  fairly  bursting  with  mystery.  "That's  what 
we've  got  to  consider.  But  I  may  say  that  the  situation  appears  to  me 
dashed  thick  and  not  a  little  rotten.  In  fact,  dashed  rotten  and  pretty 
thick  as  well,  if  you  take  me.  I  mean  to  say,"  he  added  carefully, 
"well,  if  you  follow  what  I'm  driving  at,  altogether  pretty  well 
dashed  thick  and  rotten,  what?" 

"You  do  put  things  well,"  said  the  girl  admiringly.  "That's  just  what 
I  felt  about  it  myself.  And  what  had  I  better  do,  do  you  think?" 

"Ah!"  said  Holmes  again,  clashing  away  like  mad.  "It's  just  that 
particular  little  fruity  point  that  we've  got  to  think  over,  isn't  it?  I 
mean,  before  we  get  down  to  action,  we've  got  to  put  in  a  bit  of  pretty 
useful  meditation  and  whatnot.  At  least,  that's  how  the  thing  strikes 


me." 


"How  clever  you  are,  Mr.  Holmes!"  sighed  the  girl. 

Holmes  heaved  himself  out  of  his  chair.  "And  let  me  tell  you  that 
the  best  way  of  agitating  the  old  bean  into  a  proper  performance  of 
its  duties  is  first  of  all  to  restore  the  good  old  tissues  with  a  little 
delicate  sustenance.  In  other  words,  what  about  something  rather 
rare  in  tea  somewhere  first?" 

"Oh,  yes!"  cried  the  girl.  "How  lovely!" 

"Top-hole!"  I  said  enthusiastically.  I  mean,  the  idea  tickled  me, 

what? 
Holmes  looked  at  me  with  a  dashed  cold  eye.  "You're  not  on  the 


HOLMES    AND    THE    DASHER  69 

stage  for  this  bit  of  dialogue,  dear  old  laddie,"  he  remarked  in  the 
way  that  writer  chappies  call  incisively. 

They  trickled  out  together. 

It  was  past  midnight  before  Holmes  returned. 

"What  ho!"  I  said  doubtfully,  still  feeling  a  bit  sore,  if  you  under- 
stand me. 

"What  ho!"  said  Holmes,  unleashing  his  ulster. 

"What  ho!  What  ho!" 

"What  ho!  What  ho!  What?" 

"I  mean,  what  about  Freddie  Devereux?"  I  asked,  to  change  the 
conversation. 

"That  moon-faced  lump  of  mediocrity?  What  about  him?" 

"Well,  what  about  him?  About  him  and  Miss  Crossgarters,  as  it 
were.  I  mean  to  say,  what  about  them,  what?" 

"Oh,  you  mean  what  about  them  ?  Well,  I  don't  think  he'll  trouble 
her  much  more.  You  see,  Cissie  and  I  have  got  engaged  to  be  mar- 
ried, what?  I  mean,  what,  what,  what?" 

(And  Mr.  Berkeley  adds:  "That  is  one  example  of  literary  style") 


THE   CASE    OF   THE   MISSING 

LADY 

by  AGATHA  CHRISTIE 


Miss  Christie  has  set  her  ingenuity  and  uniting  styll  against 
every  problem  in  detective-crime  fiction.  It  was  inevitable, 
therefore,  that  sooner  or  later  she  would  tackle  the  subtle  dif- 
ficulties of  burlesque.  Of  course,  when  she  did,  it  was  in  typical 
Christie  fashion  —  no  halfway  measures,  as  we  hasten  to  ex- 
plain. 

"The  Case  of  the  Missing  Lady"  is  a  chapter  lifted  from  Miss 
Christies  boo\,  PARTNERS  IN  CRIME  (London,  Collins,  7929; 
New  Yor{,  Dodd,  Mead,  7929)—  which  contains  not  one 
burlesque  but  a  baker's  dozen  of  them!  Other  chapters  parody 
Dr.  Thorndy^e,  Father  Brown,  The  Old  Man  in  the  Corner, 
Hanaud,  Inspector  French,  Roger  Sheringham,  Reggie  For- 
tune—and because  Miss  Christie  plays  no  favorites,  Hercule 

Poirot  himself! 

All  the  parodies  concern  the  detectival  affairs  of  that  happy- 
go-luc\y  husband-and-wife  team,  Tommy  and  Tuppence  Beres- 
jord  _  a  delightful  English  version  of  Nic{  and  Nora  Charles. 
The  Tommy-Tuppence  taJ(e-off  on  Sherloc/(  Holmes  is  gentle 
and  somewhat  spoofing,  but  none  the  less  effective. 


W, 


/HAT  on  earth  are  you  doing?"  demanded  Tuppence,  as  she 
entered  the  inner  sanctum  of  the  International  Detective  Agency  — 
(Slogan  —  Blunt's  Brilliant  Detectives)  and  discovered  her  lord  and 
master  prone  on  the  floor  in  a  sea  o£  books. 

Tommy  struggled  to  his  feet. 

"I  was  trying  to  arrange  these  books  on  the  top  shelf  of  that  cup- 
board," he  complained.  "And  the  damned  chair  gave  way." 

"What  are  they,  anyway?"  asked  Tuppence,  picking  up  a  vol- 


THE    CASE    OF    THE    MISSING    LADY  71 

ume.  "The  Hound  of  the  Bas^ervilles.  I  wouldn't  mind  reading  that 
again  sometime." 

"You  see  the  idea?"  said  Tommy,  dusting  himself  with  care.  "Half 
hours  with  the  Great  Masters  — that  sort  of  thing.  You  see,  Tup- 
pence, I  can't  help  feeling  that  we  are  more  or  less  amateurs  at  this 
business  —  of  course  amateurs  in  one  sense  we  cannot  help  being,  but 
it  would  do  no  harm  to  acquire  the  technique,  so  to  speak.  These 
books  are  detective  stories  by  the  leading  masters  of  the  art.  I  intend  to 
try  different  styles,  and  compare  results." 

"H'm,"  said  Tuppence.  "I  often  wonder  how  those  detectives  would 
have  got  on  in  real  life."  She  picked  up  another  volume.  "You'll  find 
difficulty  in  being  a  Thorndyke.  You've  no  medical  experience,  and 
less  legal,  and  I  never  heard  that  science  was  your  strong  point." 

"Perhaps  not,"  said  Tommy.  "But  at  any  rate  I've  bought  a  very 
good  camera,  and  I  shall  photograph  footprints  and  enlarge  the  nega- 
tives and  all  that  sort  of  thing.  Now,  mon  amie,  use  your  little  gray 
cells  —  what  does  this  convey  to  you?" 

He  pointed  to  the  bottom  shelf  of  the  cupboard.  On  it  lay  a  some- 
what futuristic  dressing  gown,  a  Persian  slipper,  and  a  violin. 

"Obvious,  my  dear  Watson,"  said  Tuppence. 

"Exactly,"  said  Tommy.  "The  Sherlock  Holmes  touch." 

He  took  up  the  violin  and  drew  the  bow  idly  across  the  strings, 
causing  Tuppence  to  give  a  wail  of  agony. 

At  that  moment  the  buzzer  rang  on  the  desk,  a  sign  that  a  client 
had  arrived  in  the  outer  office  and  was  being  held  in  parley  by  Albert, 
the  office  boy. 

Tommy  hastily  placed  the  violin  on  the  table  and  kicked  the  books 
behind  the  desk. 

"Not  that  there's  any  great  hurry,"  he  remarked.  "Albert  will  be 
handing  them  out  the  stuff  about  my  being  engaged  with  Scotland 
Yard  on  the  phone.  Get  into  your  office  and  start  typing,  Tuppence. 
It  makes  the  office  sound  busy  and  active.  No,  on  second  thought, 
you  shall  be  taking  notes  in  shorthand  from  my  dictation.  Let's  have 
a  look  before  we  get  Albeit  to  send  the  victim  in." 

They  approached  the  peephole  which  had  been  artistically  con- 
trived so  as  to  command  a  view  of  the  outer  office. 

"I'll  wait,"  the  visitor  was  saying.  "I  haven't  got  a  card  with  me, 
but  my  name  is  Gabriel  Stavansson." 


72  THE    CASE    OF    THE    MISSING    LADY 

The  client  was  a  magnificent  specimen  of  manhood,  standing  over 
six  feet  high.  His  face  was  bronzed  and  weather-beaten,  and  the  ex- 
traordinary blue  of  his  eyes  made  an  almost  startling  contrast  to  the 
brown  skin. 

Tommy  swiftly  changed  his  mind.  He  put  on  his  hat,  picked  up 
some  gloves,  and  opened  the  door.  He  paused  on  the  threshold. 

"This  gentleman  is  waiting  to  see  you,  Mr.  Blunt,"  said  Albert. 

A  quick  frown  passed  over  Tommy's  face.  He  took  out  his  watch. 

"I  am  due  at  the  Duke's  at  a  quarter  to  eleven,"  he  said.  Then  he 
looked  keenly  at  the  visitor.  "I  can  give  you  a  few  minutes  if  you  will 
come  this  way." 

The  latter  followed  him  obediently  into  the  inner  office,  where 
Tuppence  was  sitting  demurely  with  pad  and  pencil. 

"My  confidential  secretary,  Miss  Robinson,"  said  Tommy.  "Now, 
sir,  perhaps  you  will  state  your  business?  Beyond  the  fact  that  it  is 
urgent,  that  you  came  here  in  a  taxi,  and  that  you  have  lately  been  in 
the  Arctic  —  or  possibly  the  Antarctic  —  I  know  nothing." 

The  visitor  stared  at  him  in  amazement. 

"But  this  is  marvelous,"  he  cried.  "I  thought  detectives  only  did 
such  things  in  books!  Your  office  boy  did  not  even  give  you  my 
name!" 

Tommy  sighed  deprecatingly. 

"Tut  tut,  all  that  was  very  easy,"  he  said.  "The  rays  of  the  midnight 
sun  within  the  Arctic  circle  have  a  peculiar  action  upon  the  skin  — 
the  actinic  rays  have  certain  properties.  I  am  writing  a  little  mono- 
graph on  the  subject  shortly.  But  all  this  is  wide  of  the  point.  What  is 
it  that  has  brought  you  to  me  in  such  distress  of  mind?" 

"To  begin  with,  Mr.  Blunt,  my  name  is  Gabriel  Stavansson  —  " 

"Ah!  Of  course,"  said  Tommy.  "The  well-known  explorer.  You 
have  recently  returned  from  the  region  of  the  North  Pole,  I  believe?" 

"I  landed  in  England  three  days  ago.  A  friend  who  was  cruising 
in  northern  waters  brought  me  back  on  his  yacht.  Otherwise  I  should 
not  have  got  back  for  another  fortnight.  Now  I  must  tell  you,  Mr. 
Blunt,  that  before  I  started  on  this  last  expedition  two  years  ago,  I 
had  the  great  fortune  to  become  engaged  to  Mrs.  Maurice  Leigh 
Gordon  —  " 
Tommy  interrupted. 
"Mrs.  Leigh  Gordon  was,  before  her  marriage  —  " 


THE    CASE    OF    THE    MISSING    LADY  73 

"The  Honorable  Hermione  Crane,  second  daughter  of  Lord  Lan- 
chester,"  reeled  off  Tuppence  glibly. 

Tommy  threw  her  a  glance  of  admiration. 

"Her  first  husband  was  killed  in  the  War,"  added  Tuppence. 

Gabriel  Stavansson  nodded. 

"That  is  quite  correct.  As  I  was  saying,  Hermione  and  I  became 
engaged.  I  offered,  of  course,  to  give  up  this  expedition,  but  she 
wouldn't  hear  of  such  a  thing  — bless  her!  She's  the  right  kind  of 
woman  for  an  explorer's  wife.  Well,  my  first  thought  on  landing 
was  to  see  Hermione.  I  sent  a  telegram  from  Southampton,  and 
rushed  up  to  town  by  the  first  train.  I  knew  that  she  was  living  for 
the  time  being  with  an  aunt  of  hers,  Lady  Susan  Clonray,  in  Pont 
Street,  and  I  went  straight  there.  To  my  great  disappointment,  I 
found  that  Hermy  was  away  visiting  some  friends  in  Northumber- 
land. Lady  Susan  was  quite  nice  about  it,  after  getting  over  her  first 
surprise  at  seeing  me.  As  I  told  you,  I  wasn't  expected  for  another 
fortnight.  She  said  Hermy  would  be  returning  in  a  few  days'  time. 
Then  I  asked  for  her  address,  but  the  old  woman  hummed  and 
hawed  —  said  Hermy  was  staying  at  one  or  two  different  places,  and 
that  she  wasn't  quite  sure  what  order  she  was  taking  them  in.  I  may 
as  well  tell  you,  Mr.  Blunt,  that  Lady  Susan  and  I  have  never  got  on 
very  well.  She's  one  of  those  fat  women  with  double  chins.  I  loathe 
fat  women  —  always  have  —  fat  women  and  fat  dogs  are  an  abomina- 
tion unto  the  Lord  —  and  unfortunately  they  so  often  go  together! 
It's  an  idiosyncrasy  of  mine,  I  know  —  but  there  it  is  —  I  never  can 
get  on  with  a  fat  woman." 

"Fashion  agrees  with  you,  Mr.  Stavansson,"  said  Tommy  dryly. 
"And  everyone  has  his  own  pet  aversion  —  that  of  the  late  Lord 
Roberts  was  cats." 

"Mind  you,  I'm  not  saying  that  Lady  Susan  isn't  a  perfectly  charm- 
ing woman  —  she  may  be,  but  I've  never  taken  to  her.  I've  always  felt, 
deep  down,  that  she  disapproved  of  our  engagement,  and  I  feel  sure 
that  she  would  influence  Hermy  against  me  if  that  were  possible. 
I'm  telling  you  this  for  what  it's  worth.  Count  it  out  as  prejudice,  if 
you  like.  Well,  to  go  on  with  my  story,  I'm  the  kind  of  obstinate 
brute  who  likes  his  own  way.  I  didn't  leave  Pont  Street  until  I'd  got 
out  of  her  the  names  and  addresses  of  the  people  Hermy  was  likely  to 
be  staying  with.  Then  I  took  the  mail  train  north." 


74  THE    CASE    OF    THE    MISSING    LADY 

"You  are,  I  perceive,  a  man  of  action,  Mr.  Stavansson,"  said 
Tommy,  smiling. 

"The  thing  came  upon  me  like  a  bombshell.  Mr.  Blunt,  none  of 
these  people  had  seen  a  sign  of  Hermy!  Of  the  three  houses,  only 
one  had  been  expecting  her  —  Lady  Susan  must  have  made  a  bloomer 
over  the  other  two  —  and  she  had  put  off  her  visit  there  at  the  last 
moment  by  telegram.  I  returned  post  haste  to  London,  of  course, 
and  went  straight  to  Lady  Susan.  I  will  do  her  the  justice  to  say  that 
she  seemed  upset.  She  admitted  that  she  had  no  idea  where  Hermy 
could  be.  All  the  same,  she  strongly  negatived  any  idea  of  going  to 
the  police.  She  pointed  out  that  Hermy  was  not  a  silly  young  girl,  but 
an  independent  woman  who  had  always  been  in  the  habit  of  making 
her  own  plans.  She  was  probably  carrying  out  some  idea  of  her  own. 

"I  thought  it  quite  likely  that  Hermy  didn't  want  to  report  all  her 
movements  to  Lady  Susan.  But  I  was  still  worried.  I  had  that  queer 
feeling  one  gets  when  something  is  wrong.  I  was  just  leaving  when  a 
telegram  was  brought  to  Lady  Susan.  She  read  it  with  an  expression 
of  relief  and  handed  it  to  me.  It  ran  as  follows:  CHANGED  MY  PLANS 

JUST  OFF  TO  MONTE  CARLO  FOR  A  WEEK  HERMY. 

Tommy  held  out  his  hand. 

"You  have  got  the  telegram  with  you?" 

"No,  I  haven't.  But  it  was  handed  in  at  Maldon,  Surrey.  I  noticed 
that  at  the  time,  because  it  struck  me  as  odd.  What  should  Hermy  be 
doing  at  Maldon?  She'd  no  friends  there  that  I  had  ever  heard  of." 

"You  didn't  think  of  rushing  off  to  Monte  Carlo  in  the  same  way 
that  you  had  rushed  north?" 

"I  thought  of  it,  of  course.  But  I  decided  against  it.  You  see,  Mr. 
Blunt,  whilst  Lady  Susan  seemed  quite  satisfied  by  that  telegram,  I 
wasn't.  It  struck  me  as  odd  that  she  should  always  telegraph,  not 
write.  A  line  or  two  in  her  own  handwriting  would  have  set  all  my 
fears  at  rest.  But  anyone  can  sign  a  telegram  HERMY.  The  more  I 
thought  it  over,  the  more  uneasy  I  got.  In  the  end  I  went  down  to 
Maldon.  That  was  yesterday  afternoon.  It's  a  fair-sized  place  —  good 
links  there  and  all  that  —  two  hotels.  I  inquired  everywhere  I  could 
think  of,  but  there  wasn't  a  sign  that  Hermy  had  ever  been  there. 
Coming  back  in  the  train  I  read  your  advertisement,  and  I  thought 
I'd  put  it  up  to  you.  If  Hermy  has  really  gone  off  to  Monte  Carlo,  I 
don't  want  to  set  the  police  on  her  track  and  make  a  scandal,  but  I'm 


THE    CASE    OF    THE    MISSING    LADY  75 

not  going  to  be  sent  off  on  a  wild-goose  chase  myself.  I  stay  here  in 
London,  in  case  — in  case  thereVbeen  foul  play  of  any  kind." 

Tommy  nodded  thoughtfully. 

"What  do  you  suspect  exactly?" 

"I  don't  know.  But  I  feel  there's  something  wrong." 

With  a  quick  movement,  Stavansson  took  a  case  from  his  pocket 
and  laid  it  open  before  them. 

"That  is  Hermione,"  he  said.  "I  will  leave  it  with  you." 

The  photograph  represented  a  tall  willowy  woman,  no  longer  in 
her  first  youth,  but  with  a  charming  frank  smile  and  lovely  eyes. 

"Now,  Mr.  Stavansson,"  said  Tommy.  "There  is  nothing  you  have 
omitted  to  tell  me?" 

"Nothing  whatever." 

"No  detail,  however  small?" 

"I  don't  think  so." 

Tommy  sighed. 

"That  makes  the  task  harder,"  he  observed.  "You  must  often  have 
noticed,  Mr.  Stavansson,  in  reading  of  crime,  how  one  small  detail  is 
all  the  great  detective  needs  to  set  him  on  the  track.  I  may  say  that 
this  case  presents  some  unusual  features.  I  have,  I  think,  practically 
solved  it  already,  but  time  will  show." 

He  picked  up  the  violin  which  lay  on  the  table  and  drew  the  bow 
once  or  twice  across  the  strings.  Tuppence  ground  her  teeth  and  even 
the  explorer  blenched.  The  performer  laid  the  instrument  down 

again. 

"A  few  chords  from  Mosgovskensky,"  he  murmured.  "Leave  me 
your  address,  Mr.  Stavansson,  and  I  will  report  progress  to  you." 

As  the  visitor  left  the  office,  Tuppence  grabbed  the  violin  and  put- 
ting it  in  the  cupboard  turned  the  key  in  the  lock. 

"If  you  must  be  Sherlock  Holmes,"  she  observed,  "I'll  get  you  a 
nice  little  syringe  and  a  bottle  labeled  COCAINE,  but  for  God's  sake 
leave  that  violin  alone.  If  that  nice  explorer  man  hadn't  been  as  sim- 
ple as  a  child,  he'd  have  seen  through  you.  Are  you  going  on  with  the 
Sherlock  Holmes  touch?" 

"I  flatter  myself  that  I  have  carried  it  through  very  well  so  far," 
said  Tommy  with  some  complacence.  "The  deductions  were  good, 
weren't  they?  I  had  to  risk  the  taxi.  After  all,  it's  the  only  sensible  way 
of  getting  to  this  place." 


76  THE    CASE    OF    THE    MISSING    LADY 

"It's  lucky  I  had  just  read  the  bit  about  his  engagement  in  this 
morning's  Daily  Mirror"  remarked  Tuppence. 

"Yes,  that  looked  well  for  the  efficiency  of  Blunt's  Brilliant  Detec- 
tives. This  is  decidedly  a  Sherlock  Holmes  case.  Even  you  cannot 
have  failed  to  notice  the  similarity  between  it  and  the  disappearance 
of  Lady  Frances  Carfax." 

"Do  you  expect  to  find  Mrs.  Leigh  Gordon's  body  in  a  coffin?" 
"Logically,  history  should  repeat  itself.  Actually  —  well,  what  do 
you  think?" 

"Well,"  said  Tuppence.  "The  most  obvious  explanation  seems  to 
be  that  for  some  reason  or  other  Hermy,  as  he  calls  her,  is  afraid  to 
meet  her  fiance,  and  that  Lady  Susan  is  backing  her  up.  In  fact,  to 
put  it  bluntly,  she's  come  a  cropper  of  some  kind,  and  has  got  the 
wind  up  about  it." 

"That  occurred  to  me  also,"  said  Tommy.  "But  I  thought  we'd 
better  make  pretty  certain  before  suggesting  that  explanation  to  a 
man  like  Stavansson.  What  about  a  run  down  to  Maldon,  old  thing? 
And  it  would  do  no  harm  to  take  some  golf  clubs  with  us." 

Tuppence  agreeing,  the  International  Detective  Agency  was  left  in 
the  charge  of  Albert. 

Maldon,  though  a  well-known  residential  place,  did  not  cover  a 
large  area.  Tommy  and  Tuppence,  making  every  possible  inquiry 
that  ingenuity  could  suggest,  nevertheless  drew  a  complete  blank.  It 
was  as  they  were  returning  to  London  that  a  brilliant  idea  occurred 
to  Tuppence. 

"Tommy,  why  did  they  put  MALDON  SURREY  on  the  telegram?" 
"Because  Maldon  is  in  Surrey,  idiot." 

"Idiot  yourself  —  I  don't  mean  that.  If  you  get  a  telegram  from  — 
Hastings,  say,  or  Torquay,  they  don't  put  the  county  after  it.  But 
from  Richmond,  they  do  put  RICHMOND  SURREY.  That's  because  there 
are  two  Richmonds." 
Tommy,  who  was  driving,  slowed  up. 

"Tuppence,"  he  said  affectionately,  "your  idea  is  not  so  dusty.  Let 
us  make  inquiries  at  yonder  post  office." 

They  drew  up  before  a  small  building  in  the  middle  of  a  village 
street.  A  very  few  minutes  sufficed  to  elicit  the  information  that  there 
were  two  Maldons.  Maldon,  Surrey,  and  Maldon,  Sussex,  the  latter 
a  tiny  hamlet  but  possessed  of  a  telegraph  office. 


THE    CASE    OF    THE    MISSING    LADY  77 

"That's  it,"  said  Tuppence  excitedly.  "Stavansson  knew  Maldon 
was  in  Surrey,  so  he  hardly  looked  at  the  word  beginning  with  S 
after  Maldon." 

"Tomorrow,"  said  Tommy,  "we'll  have  a  look  at  Maldon,  Sussex." 

Maldon,  Sussex,  was  a  very  different  proposition  from  its  Surrey 
namesake.  It  was  four  miles  from  a  railway  station,  possessed  two 
public  houses,  two  small  shops,  a  post  and  telegraph  office  combined 
with  a  sweet  and  picture-postcard  business,  and  about  seven  small 
cottages.  Tuppence  took  on  the  shops  whilst  Tommy  betook  himself 
to  the  Cock  and  Sparrow.  They  met  half  an  hour  later. 

"Well?"  said  Tuppence. 

"Quite  good  beer,"  said  Tommy,  "but  no  information." 

"You'd  better  try  the  King's  Head,"  said  Tuppence.  "I'm  going 
back  to  the  post  office.  There's  a  sour  old  woman  there,  but  I  heard 
them  yell  to  her  that  dinner  was  ready." 

She  returned  to  the  place,  and  began  examining  postcards.  A  fresh- 
faced  girl,  still  munching,  came  out  of  the  back  room. 

"I'd  like  these,  please,"  said  Tuppence.  "And  do  you  mind  waiting 
whilst  I  just  look  over  these  comic  ones?" 

She  sorted  through  a  packet,  talking  as  she  did  so. 

"I'm  ever  so  disappointed  you  couldn't  tell  me  my  sister's  address. 
She's  staying  near  here  and  I've  lost  her  letter.  Leigh  Wood,  her 
name  is." 

The  girl  shook  her  head. 

"I  don't  remember  it.  And  we  don't  get  many  letters  through  here 
either  —  so  I  probably  should  if  I'd  seen  it  on  a  letter.  Apart  from  the 
Grange,  there  isn't  many  big  houses  round  about." 

"What  is  the  Grange?"  asked  Tuppence.  "Who  does  it  belong  to?" 

"Dr.  Horriston  has  it.  It's  turned  into  a  Nursing  Home  now.  Nerve 
cases  mostly,  I  believe.  Ladies  that  come  down  for  rest  cures,  and  all 
that  sort  of  thing.  Well,  it's  quiet  enough  down  here,  Heaven  knows." 
She  giggled. 

Tuppence  hastily  selected  a  few  cards  and  paid  for  them. 

"That's  Dr.  Horriston's  car  coming  along  now,"  exclaimed  the  girl. 

Tuppence  hurried  to  the  shop  door.  A  small  two-seater  was  pass- 
ing. At  the  wheel  was  a  tall  dark  man  with  a  neat  black  beard  and  a 
powerful,  unpleasant  face.  The  car  went  straight  on  down  the  street. 
Tuppence  saw  Tommy  crossing  the  road  towards  her. 


78  THE    CASE    OF    THE    MISSING    LADY 

"Tommy,  I  believe  I've  got  it.  Dr.  Horriston's  Nursing  Home." 

"I  heard  about  it  at  the  King's  Head,  and  I  thought  there  might 
be  something  in  it.  But  if  she's  had  a  nervous  breakdown  or  any- 
thing of  that  sort,  her  aunt  and  her  friends  would  know  about  it 
surely." 

"Ye-es.  I  didn't  mean  that.  Tommy,  did  you  see  that  man  in  the 
two-seater?" 

"Unpleasant-looking  brute,  yes." 

"That  was  Dr.  Horriston." 

Tommy  whistled. 

"Shifty-looking  beggar.  What  do  you  say  about  it,  Tuppence? 
Shall  we  go  and  have  a  look  at  the  Grange?" 

They  found  the  place  at  last,  a  big  rambling  house,  surrounded  by 
deserted  grounds,  with  a  swift  mill  stream  running  behind  the  house. 

"Dismal  sort  of 'abode,"  said  Tommy.  "It  gives  me  the  creeps,  Tup- 
pence. You  know,  I've  a  feeling  this  is  going  to  turn  out  a  far  more 
serious  matter  than  we  thought  at  first." 

"Oh  don't.  If  only  we  are  in  time.  That  woman's  in  some  awful 
danger,  I  feel  it  in  my  bones." 

"Don't  let  your  imagination  run  away  with  you." 

"I  can't  help  it.  I  mistrust  that  man.  What  shall  we  do  ?  I  think  it 
would  be  a  good  plan  if  I  went  and  rang  the  bell  alone  first,  and  asked 
boldly  for  Mrs.  Leigh  Gordon  just  to  see  what  answer  I  get.  Because, 
after  all,  it  may  be  perfectly  fair  and  above  board." 

Tuppence  carried  out  her  plan.  The  door  was  opened  almost  im- 
mediately by  a  manservant  with  an  impassive  face. 

"I  want  to  see  Mrs.  Leigh  Gordon  if  she  is  well  enough  to  see  me." 

She  fancied  that  there  was  a  momentary  flicker  of  the  man's  eye- 
lashes, but  he  answered  readily  enough. 

"There  is  no  one  of  that  name  here,  Madam." 

"Oh,  surely.  This  is  Dr.  Horriston's  place,  The  Grange,  is  it  not?" 

"Yes,  madam,  but  there  is  nobody  of  the  name  of  Mrs.  Leigh  Gor- 
don here." 

Baffled,  Tuppence  was  forced  to  withdraw  and  hold  a  further  con- 
sultation with  Tommy  outside  the  gate. 

"Perhaps  he  was  speaking  the  truth.  After  all,  we  don't  \now." 

"He  wasn't.  He  was  lying.  I'm  sure  of  it." 

"Wait  until  the  doctor  comes  back,"  said  Tommy.  "Then  I'll  pass 


THE    CASE    OF    THE    MISSING    LADY  79 

myself  oft  as  a  journalist  anxious  to  discuss  his  new  system  of  rest 
cure  with  him.  That  will  give  me  a  chance  of  getting  inside  and 
studying  the  geography  of  the  place." 

The  doctor  returned  about  half  an  hour  later.  Tommy  gave  him 
about  five  minutes,  then  he  in  turn  marched  up  to  the  front  door.  But 
he  too  returned  baffled. 

"The  doctor  was  engaged  and  couldn't  be  disturbed.  And  he  never 
sees  journalists.  Tuppence,  you're  right.  There's  something  fishy 
about  this  place.  It's  ideally  situated  —  miles  from  anywhere.  Any 
mortal  thing  could  go  on  here,  and  no  one  would  ever  know." 

"Come  on,"  said  Tuppence,  with  determination. 

"What  are  you  going  to  do?" 

"I'm  going  to  climb  over  the  wall,  and  see  if  I  can't  get  up  to  the 
house  quietly  without  being  seen." 

"Right.  I'm  with  you." 

The  garden  was  somewhat  overgrown,  and  afforded  a  multitude  of 
cover.  Tommy  and  Tuppence  managed  to  reach  the  back  of  the  house 
unobserved. 

Here  there  was  a  wide  terrace,  with  some  crumbling  steps  leading 
down  from  it.  In  the  middle  some  French  windows  opened  onto  the 
terrace,  but  they  dared  not  step  out  into  the  open,  and  the  windows 
where  they  were  crouching  were  too  high  for  them  to  be  able  to  look 
in.  It  did  not  seem  as  though  their  reconnaissance  would  be  much 
use,  when  suddenly  Tuppence  tightened  her  grasp  on  Tommy's  arm. 

Someone  was  speaking  in  the  room  close  to  them.  The  window 
was  open  and  the  fragment  of  conversation  came  clearly  to  their  ears. 

"Come  in,  come  in,  and  shut  the  door,"  said  a  man's  voice  irritably. 
"A  lady  came  about  an  hour  ago,  you  said,  and  asked  for  Mrs.  Leigh 
Gordon?" 

Tuppence  recognized  the  answering  voice  as  that  of  the  impassive 
manservant. 

"Yes,  sir." 

"You  said  she  wasn't  here,  of  course?" 

"Of  course,  sir." 

"And  now  this  journalist  fellow,"  fumed  the  other. 

He  came  suddenly  to  the  window,  throwing  up  the  sash,  and  the 
two  outside,  peering  through  a  screen  of  bushes,  recognized  Dr. 
Horriston. 


80  THE    CASE    OF    THE    MISSING    LADY 

"It's  the  woman  I  mind  most  about,"  continued  the  doctor.  "What 
did  she  look  like?" 

"Young,  good-looking,  and  very  smartly  dressed,  sir." 

Tommy  nudged  Tuppence  in  the  ribs. 

"Exactly,"  said  the  doctor  between  his  teeth.  "As  I  feared.  Some 
friend  of  the  Leigh  Gordon  woman's.  It's  getting  very  difficult.  I  shall 
have  to  take  steps  .  .  ." 

He  left  the  sentence  unfinished.  Tommy  and  Tuppence  heard  the 
door  close.  There  was  silence. 

Gingerly,  Tommy  led  the  retreat.  When  they  had  reached  a  little 
clearing  not  far  away,  but  out  of  earshot  from  the  house,  he  spoke. 

"Tuppence,  old  thing,  this  is  getting  serious.  They  mean  mischief. 
I  think  we  ought  to  get  back  to  town  at  once  and  see  Stavansson." 

To  his  surprise  Tuppence  shook  her  head. 

"We  must  stay  down  here.  Didn't  you  hear  him  say  he  was  going 
to  take  steps  ?  That  might  mean  anything." 

"The  worst  of  it  is  we've  hardly  got  a  case  to  go  to  the  police  on." 

"Listen,  Tommy.  Why  not  ring  up  Stavansson  from  the  village? 
I'll  stay  around  here." 

"Perhaps  that  is  the  best  plan,"  agreed  her  husband.  "But,  I  say  — 
Tuppence  —  " 

"Well?" 

"Take  care  of  yourself  —  won't  you?" 

"Of  course  I  shall,  you  silly  old  thing.  Cut  along." 

It  was  some  two  hours  later  that  Tommy  returned.  He  found  Tup- 
pence awaiting  him  near  the  gate. 

"Well?" 

"I  couldn't  get  on  to  Stavansson.  Then  I  tried  Lady  Susan.  She  was 
out  too.  Then  I  thought  of  ringing  up  old  Brady.  I  asked  him  to  look 
up  Horriston  in  the  Medical  Directory  or  whatever  the  thing  calls 
itself." 

"Well,  what  did  Dr.  Brady  say?" 

"Oh  he  knew  the  name  at  once.  Horriston  was  once  a  bona-fide 
doctor,  but  he  came  a  cropper  of  some  kind.  Brady  called  him  a  most 
unscrupulous  quack,  and  said  he,  personally,  wouldn't  be  surprised 
at  anything.  The  question  is,  what  are  we  to  do  now?" 

"We  must  stay  here,"  said  Tuppence  instantly.  "I've  a  feeling 
they  mean  something  to  happen  tonight.  By  the  way,  a  gardener  has 


THE    CASE    OF    THE    MISSING    LADY  8l 

been  clipping  ivy  round  the  house.  Tommy,  /  saw  where  he  put  the 

ladder? 
"Good  for  you,  Tuppence,"  said  her  husband  appreciatively.  "Then 

tonight  —  " 

"As  soon  as  it's  dark  —  " 

"We  shall  see  - 

"What  we  shall  see." 

Tommy  took  his  turn  at  watching  the  house  whilst  Tuppence 
went  to  the  village  and  had  some  food. 

Then  she  returned  and  they  took  up  the  vigil  together.  At  nine 
o'clock,  they  decided  that  it  was  dark  enough  to  commence  opera- 
tions. They  were  now  able  to  circle  round  the  house  in  perfect  free- 
dom. Suddenly  Tuppence  clutched  Tommy  by  the  arm. 

"Listen." 

The  sound  she  had  heard  came  again,  borne  faintly  on  the  night 
air.  It  was  the  moan  of  a  woman  in  pain.  Tuppence  pointed  upward 
to  a  window  on  the  first  floor. 

"It  came  from  that  room,"  she  whispered. 

Again  that  low  moan  rent  the  stillness  of  the  night. 

The  two  listeners  decided  to  put  their  original  plan  into  action. 
Tuppence  led  the  way  to  where  she  had  seen  the  gardener  put  the 
ladder.  Between  them  they  carried  it  to  the  side  of  the  house  from 
which  they  had  heard  the  moaning.  All  the  blinds  of  the  ground- 
floor  rooms  were  drawn,  but  this  particular  window  upstairs  was 
unshuttered. 

Tommy  put  the  ladder  as  noiselessly  as  possible  against  the  side 

of  the  house. 

"I'll  go  up,"  whispered  Tuppence.  "You  stay  below.  I  don't  mind 
climbing  ladders  and  you  can  steady  it  better  than  I  could.  And  in 
case  the  doctor  should  come  round  the  corner  you'd  be  able  to  deal 
with  him  and  I  shouldn't." 

Nimbly  Tuppence  hurried  up  the  ladder,  and  raised  her  head 
cautiously  to  look  in  at  the  window.  Then  she  ducked  it  swiftly,  but 
after  a  minute  or  two  brought  it  very  slowly  up  again.  She  stayed 
there  for  about  five  minutes.  Then  she  came  down  quickly. 

"It's  her,"  she  said  breathlessly  and  ungrammatically.  "But  oh, 
Tommy,  it's  horrible.  She's  lying  there  in  bed,  moaning,  and  turning 
to  and  fro  —  and  just  as  I  got  there  a  woman  dressed  as  a  nurse  came 


82  THE    CASE    OF    THE.  MISSING    LADY 

in.  She  bent  over  her  and  injected  something  in  her  arm  and  then 
went  away  again.  What  shall  we  do?" 

"Is  she  conscious?" 

"I  think  so.  I'm  almost  sure  she  is.  I  fancy  she  may  be  strapped  to 
the  bed.  I'm  going  up  again,  and  if  I  can,  I'm  going  to  get  into  that 


room." 


"I  say,  Tuppence  —  " 

"If  I'm  in  any  sort  of  danger  I'll  yell  for  you.  So  long." 

Avoiding  further  argument  Tuppence  hurried  up  the  ladder  again. 
Tommy  saw  her  try  the  window,  then  noiselessly  push  up  the  sash. 
Another  second,  and  she  had  disappeared  inside. 

And  now  an  agonizing  time  came  for  Tommy.  He  could  hear 
nothing  at  first.  Tuppence  and  Mrs.  Leigh  Gordon  must  be  talking 
in  whispers  if  they  were  talking  at  all.  Presently  he  did  hear  a  low 
murmur  of  voices  and  drew  a  breath  of  relief.  But  suddenly  the 
voices  stopped.  Dead  silence. 

Tommy  strained  his  ears.  Nothing.  What  could  they  be  doing? 

Suddenly  a  hand  fell  on  his  shoulder. 

"Come  on,"  said  Tuppence's  voice  out  of  the  darkness. 

"Tuppence!  How  did  you  get  here?" 

"Through  the  front  door.  Let's  get  out  of  this." 

"Get  out  of  this?" 

"That's  what  I  said." 

"But  — Mrs.  Leigh  Gordon?" 

In  a  tone  of  indescribable  bitterness  Tuppence  replied: 

"Getting  thin!" 

Tommy  looked  at  her,  suspecting  irony. 

"What  do  you  mean?" 

"What  I  say.  Getting  thin.  Slinkiness.  Reduction  of  weight.  Didn't 
you  hear  Stavansson  say  he  hated  fat  women?  In  the  two  years  he's 
been  away,  his  Hermy  has  put  on  weight.  Got  a  panic  when  she 
knew  he  was  coming  back,  and  rushed  off  to  do  this  new  treatment 
of  Dr.  Horriston's.  It's  injections  of  some  sort,  and  he  makes  a 
deadly  secret  of  it,  and  charges  through  the  nose.  I  daresay  he  is  a 
quack  —  but  he's  a  damned  successful  one!  Stavansson  comes  home 
a  fortnight  too  soon,  when  she's  only  beginning  the  treatment.  Lady 
Susan  has  been  sworn  to  secrecy,  and  plays  up.  And  we  come  down 
here  and  make  blithering  idiots  of  ourselves!" 


THE    CASE    OF    THE    MISSING    LADY  83 

Tommy  drew  a  deep  breath. 

"I  believe,  Watson,"  he  said  with  dignity,  "that  there  is  a  very  good 
concert  at  the  Queen's  Hall  tomorrow.  We  shall  be  in  plenty  of  time 
for  it.  And  you  will  oblige  me  by  not  placing  this  case  upon  your 
records.  It  has  absolutely  no  distinctive  features." 


Detective:  SHERLOCK  HOLMES 


THE   ADVENTURE   OF   THE 
ILLUSTRIOUS   IMPOSTOR 

by  ANTHONY  BOUCHER 


Anthony  Boucher,  creator  of  Fergus  O'Breen,  Nicf{  Noble,  and 
Sister  Ursula  —  a  stellar  triumvirate  of  fictional  detectives  — 
focuses  the  microscope  of  Sherloc\  Holmes 's  analytical  mind 
on  the  problem  of  Rudolf  Hess,  the  sensational  one-man  inva- 
sion of  Great  Britain.  History  alone  will  confirm  or  shatter  the 
truth  of  Holmes' s  startling  solution. 

It  is  interesting  to  note  in  passing  the  cognominal  affinity 
between  Anthony  Boucher  and  Sherloc^  Holmes.  Is  it  sheer 
coincidence  that  Anthony  Boucher's  alter-pseudonym  is  H.  H. 
Holmes?  1 

This  stimulating  pastiche  has  never  before  appeared  in  print. 


T 

JL-H 


.HE  LEAN  old  man  on  the  Sussex  bee  farm  looked  up  from  the 
newspapers  spread  before  him  and  announced,  "The  most  interest- 
ing man  in  the  world  at  this  moment,  this  May  of  1941,  is  a  hitherto 
obscure  German  named  Horn." 

His  friend  stirred  his  tea  testily.  "Hang  it,  old  man,  have  you 
found  some  obscurely  fascinating  personal  again?  I  thought  all  the 
interest  in  the  papers  was  centered  on  this  chap  Hess." 

The  lean  old  man  smiled.  "Precisely,  my  dear  fellow.  All  the  inter- 
est is  centered  on  this  chap  Hess,  and  no  one  has  bothered  to  notice 
that  Rudolf  Hess  must  have  been  murdered  a  month  ago." 

XA  whimsy:  the  pseudonym  actually  derives  from  that  of  die  infamous  American 
murderer,  Dr.  H.  H.  Holmes,  ne  Herman  Mudgett  (1860-1895),  who  eventually  con- 
fessed to  averaging  two  murders  per  year  over  a  period  of  fourteen  years. 


THE    ADVENTURE    OF    THE    ILLUSTRIOUS     IMPOSTOR       85 

"Murdered?"  His  friend's  eyes  held  for  a  moment  the  gleam  of  a 
retired  hunting  dog  who  hears  the  horns.  Then  the  gleam  faded. 
"Only  another  Jerry  .  .  ."  he  said  dully. 

"Ah,  but  what  a  Jerry!  Some  call  him  a  Trojan  Horse,  some  a 
traitor  —  a  dove  of  peace,  a  spy.  While  we  know  that  he  must  be  ... 
But  here:  Read  these  two  paragraphs  from  the  official  statement 

dated  May  12." 
The  aged  doctor  fumbled  with  his  glasses  and  read  from  the  paper: 

He  was  taken  to  a  hospital  in  Glasgow,  where  he  first  gave  his 
name  as  Horn  but  later  on  he  declared  he  was  Rudolf  Hess. 

He  brought  with  him  various  photographs  of  himself  at  different 
ages,  apparently  in  order  to  establish  his  identity. 

He  read  the  paragraphs  twice,  then  looked  up  vacuously. 

"Come,  come!"  the  lean  old  man  snapped.  "You  know  my  meth- 
ods. Can  you  not  see  how  clearly  those  sentences  tell  us  that  this 
'Hess'  is  an  impostor?"  His  temper  faded,  and  he  looked  at  his 
friend  with  pity  and  sympathy.  "Well,  well;  the  years  glide  by, 
Postumus  — and  I  even  find  myself  quoting  Horace  rather  than 
Hafiz.  I  no  longer  have  the  right  to  be  so  harsh  with  your  dullness. 
But  listen,  and  you  shall  understand." 

His  thumb  crammed  shag  from  the  Persian  slipper  into  the  black- 
ened clay.  "Those  photographs  have  been  accepted  as  providing  abso- 
lute proof  of  his  identity.  In  fact,  they  disprove  it  completely. 

"Say  that  he  was  coming  on  a  mission  to  the  Duke  of  Hamilton. 
The  men  have  met.  They  have  exchanged  correspondence  in  which  a 
signal  could  have  been  arranged.  And  yet  we  are  expected  to  believe 
that  Hess  would  walk  in  on  the  Duke  and  present  him  with  a  photo- 
graph as  identification.  Patent  nonsense! 

"Or  say  that  his  mission  was  to  the  people  of  England.  Our  intel- 
ligence service  is  not  all  dolts.  Scotland  Yard  with  men  like  Wilson 
and  French  and  Alleyn  is  not  what  it  was  in  the  days  of  Lestrade. 
They  have  the  minutest  descriptions  and  pictures  of  every  enemy 
leader.  And  yet  he  brings  his  own  pictures! 

"The  real  Hess  would  never  have  carried  pictures.  But  anyone  not 
Hess,  but  resembling  him,  would  have  had  the  strongest  motive  for 
carrying  just  those  pictures  which  most  stressed  the  resemblance." 


86      THE    ADVENTURE    OF    THE    ILLUSTRIOUS    IMPOSTOR 

He  paused  for  a  moment,  and  his  friend  said,  "Amazing!" 

"Elementary,"  he  retorted.  It  was  like  ritual  antiphon  and  response. 
"But  the  episode  of  the  name  is  even  more  revealing. 

"This  'Hess'  was  in  Britain  deliberately;  his  Messerschmitt  could 
not  have  made  the  round  flight,  so  that  he  must  have  intended  to 
land.  He  was  distinctively  dressed:  fine  uniform,  gold  watch,  gold 
wrist  compass.  Whatever  his  purpose,  he  could  carry  it  out  only  by 
virtue  of  being  Hess. 

"Nevertheless,  even  with  those  curious  photos  on  him,  when  he  is 
first  questioned  he  states  that  his  name  is  Horn. 

"Again  nonsense  ...  if  he  is  Hess.  But  if  he  were  Herr  Horn, 
nervous,  confused,  his  wrenched  leg  aching,  what  more  natural  than 
that  in  that  first  tense  moment  he  should  automatically  reply  with 
his  true  name?" 

Dense  clouds  of  shag  smoke  filled  the  room  as  the  lean  old  man 
eagerly  went  on:  "Realize  that,  and  see  how  much  else  falls  into 
place: 

"Hess  is  described  in  an  early  dispatch  as  a  strict  vegetarian;  Herr 
Horn  is  fussy  about  his  salmon  and  chicken. 

"Hess  has  lung  lesions  from  the  war,  a  scalp  wound  from  1919,  and 
tuberculosis  of  the  bone  from  a  skiing  injury;  the  Glasgow  hospital 
report  on  Herr  Horn  mentions  only  heart  trouble  and  gallstones. 

"Hess  is  reputedly  a  devoted  father;  Herr  Horn  has  abandoned  the 
Hess  child  to  a  man  not  noted  for  mercy. 

"Hess  is  a  soldier,  a  flyer,  and  presumably  not  a  fool;  Herr  Horn 
arrives  in  Scotland  in  an  unarmed  plane,  totally  defenseless  against 
the  RAF,  who  might  reasonably  be  slow  to  understand  the  motive  of 
a  Messerschmitt's  visit." 

His  friend  roused  himself.  "But  I  say,  old  man,  why  should  even 
your  Herr  Horn  venture  against  the  RAF  unarmed?" 

"It  is  obvious  enough:  Because  he  was  meant  to  die.  Because  his 
death,  as  Hess,  was  essential  to  the  murderers  of  Hess." 

"Oh.  Some  dastardly  plot  of  that  devil  Von  Bork,  no  doubt." 

The  lean  old  man  smiled.  "Von  Bork  has  been  dead  these  twenty- 
five  years.  But  there  are  still  devils  in  his  land,  and  one  of  them  mur- 
dered Rudolf  Hess.  Why,  I  shall  let  the  political  experts  explain. 

"But  it  is  obvious  that  Hess's  murder  was  dangerous;  it  might 


THE    ADVENTURE    OF    THE    ILLUSTRIOUS     IMPOSTOR       87 

cause  serious  disaffection  among  his  followers,  even  revolt.  So  he 
must  be  given  a  brave  new  death,  glorious  in  battle.  You  will  recall 
the  curious  episode  of  the  martial  death  of  Werner  von  Fritsch? 

"Horn  was  probably  Bess's  habitual  double.  Say  he  was  told  that 
Hess  was  ill,  that  he  must  keep  a  secret  tryst  for  him.  He  was  pro- 
vided with  identification  and  with  the  map  marking  the  Hamilton 
estate,  chosen  doubtless  because  of  the  Duke's  dubious  prewar  con- 
nections. His  instructions  would  be  to  lie  low  after  the  appointment 
(hence  the  concentrated  foods  which  he  carried)  until  he  could  be 
smuggled  out. 

"Instead,  of  course,  he  was  to  be  shot  down  by  the  RAF  or,  if  that 
failed,  by  the  German  plane  which  he  thought  was  his  escort.  (The 
newspaper  reports  are  still  doubtful  as  to  whether  the  bullet  holes  in 
his  plane  came  from  the  RAF.)  But  by  some  trick  of  our  ever  ironic 
Providence,  his  plane  escaped.  He  landed  ...  and  wrenched  his 

ankle. 

"That,  my  dear  fellow,  if  you  will  forgive  a  pawky  wit  worthy  of 
your  own,  was  the  turning  point.  Helpless  because  of  his  leg,  he  was 
captured  and  haled  before  the  authorities.  He  mumbled  his  real 
name;  but  that  would  not  be  believed  for  a  moment  once  his  "iden- 
tification' was  seen.  And  then- 

"I  admire  the  poor  worm.  This  nonentity,  this  weakling  double  — 
in  one  moment  he  achieved  a  stroke  of  daring  that  Moran  or 
Moriarty  might  have  envied.  He  calmly  said,  'Yes.  I  am  Hess.'  And 
who  was  there  to  deny  him?" 

"Who  but  you?"  his  friend  marveled.  "The  only  man  in  the  British 

Empire  who  —  " 

"It  was  nothing.  You  know  my  tenet:  Eliminate  the  impossible. 
And  here  nothing  can  remain  but  the  murder  of  Hess  and  the 
inspired  masquerade  of  Herr  Horn,  while  Goebbels  and  Duff-Cooper 
go  mad  contradicting  each  other  and  themselves  in  every  fresh  dis- 
patch." 

A  smile  of  triumph  lingered  on  his  thin  lips,  then  gave  way  to 
gravity.  "But  when  I  think  of  the  future,  this  is  more  than  an  amusing 

little  problem. 

"For  the  moment,  the  capture  of  Hess  seems  a  great  British  tri- 
umph. But  when  we  have  kept  him  for  years,  learning  nothing  from 


88      THE    ADVENTURE    OF    THE  .ILLUSTRIOUS    IMPOSTOR 

him,  profiting  nothing  by  this  stroke,  when  some  few  have  guessed 
the  truth  but  are  afraid  to  reveal  it  lest  we  lose  face  ...  It  may 
prove  serious. 

"Suppose  that  our  allies,  and  we  are  bound  to  have  more  allies  as 
this  devilish  war  drags  on,  demand  to  see  and  use  our  prisoner.  Sup- 
pose that  our  enemy  conceives  the  ingenious  notion  of  sending  Frau 
Hess  to  join  her  husband;  she  would  know  the  double  Horn  and  at 
once  upset  the  applecart. 

"No,  this  comedy  may  yet  prove  deadly  earnest.  And  when  it 
does  .  .  .  There  may  be  work  for  us  yet,  Watson." 

His  friend  was  asleep.  The  lean  old  man  smiled,  took  down  his 
violin,  and  began  to  play  softly. 


THE   DISAPPEARANCE   OF 
MR.  JAMES  PHILLIMORE 

by  ELLERY  QUEEN 


Dear  Mr.  Holmes: 

For  many  years,  in  company  with  the  legion  of  your  devoted 
followers,  I  have  been  fascinated  by  the  numerous  references  of 
Dr.  Watson  to  your  unrecorded  cases. 

By  an  understandable  perversity  of  the  mind,  my  imagination 
has  seized  with  special  zest  upon  those  unrecorded  cases  of 
yours  which,  as  Watson  points  out  so  jorthrightly,  you  failed  to 
solve. 

I  can  well  imagine  your  irritation  at  reading  the  good  doc- 
tor's blunt  statement  in  "The  Problem  of  Thor  Bridge"  l  that 
you  had  fizzled  a  number  of  cases,  among  them  the  singular 
affair  of  Mr.  James  Phillimore  who,  "stepping  bac\  into  his 
own  house  to  get  his  umbrella,  was  never  more  seen  in  this 
world." 

No  one  likes  to  be  reminded  of  his  failures.  1  would  not  do  so 
now,  if  not  for  my  certainty  that  you  will  be  professionally 
interested  in  my  remarkable  experience  recently. 

Imagine  my  astonishment  when,  early  in  the  year  of  1943, 
my  father,  Inspector  Richard  Queen  of  the  New  Yor{  Police 
Department,  brought  to  my  attention  the  case  of  Mr.  James 
Phillimore  of  New  Yorf(,  who  stepped  bac\  into  his  own  house 
as  if  to  get  his  umbrella  (after  anxiously  studying  the  sky  for 
signs  of  rain}  and  to  all  intents  and  purposes  vanished  from 
this  world! 

I  could  not  believe  my  ears,  although  at  the  time  I  said  noth- 
ing about  it  to  my  father.  Such  a  coincidence  stretched  credence 
far  beyond  the  breaking  point.  It  was  inconceivable,  as  you  will 
be  the  first  to  agree,  that  two  James  Phillimores  should  spring 

1  THE  CASE-BOOK  OF  SHERLOCK  HOLMES;  London,  Murray,  1927;  New  York,  Doran, 
1927. 


THE    DISAPPEARANCE    OF    MR.    JAMES    PHILLIMORE 

up  fifty  years  apart,  that  they  should  both  go  bac\  into  their 
houses  for  an  umbrella?  and  that  they  should  then  disappear 
as  if  from  the  face  of  the  earth  —  inconceivable  that  there  should 
be  no  connection  between  the  two  men  and  the  two  situations. 
Naturally,  I  went  to  wor\  on  the  case  despite  my  handicap 
of  confinement  to  bed  with  a  cold.  But  all  through .  my  inves- 
tigation one  part  of  my  brain  was  trying  to  reconcile  the  incon- 
ceivable with  the  conceivable.  And  after  I  had  solved  the  case,  I 
made  an  entirely  different  inquiry  — I  tried  to  discover  the 
connection  between  the  James  Phillimore  of  London  in  the 
closing  years  of  the  iqth  Century  and  the  James  Phillimore  of 
New  Yor{  in  the  early  years  of  the  fifth  decade  of  the  20th 
Century.  And  I  found  it! 

My  James  Phillimore  proved  to  be  the  grandson  of  yours 
(you  will  recall  that  the  Phillimore  family  migrated  to  Amer- 
ica after  your  brush  with  them).  I  found  evidence  that  Grand- 
son James  had  access  to  certain  old  records  of  his  grandfather, 
your  adversary,  and  that,  when  the  occasion  arose  in  his  own 
lifetime,  he  duplicated  the  technique  of  his  grandfather's  dis- 
appearance! 

Consequently,  my  solution  of  the  case  must  bear  a  close  paral- 
lel to  the  facts  of  the  grandfather's  disappearance  —  it  may  even 
be,  although  I  hesitate  to  push  the  claim  forward,  that  I  was 
fortunate  enough  to  succeed  in  exactly  the  situation  in  which 
you,  the  great  master  of  us  all,  failed. 

In  any  event,  I  gave  the  facts  to  the  world  in  a  radio  broad- 
cast. It  may  be  that  you  were  not  tuned  in  that  evening  —  there 
are  so  many  detective-story  programs,  and  you  must  be  heartily 
sicJ^  of  them.  If  you  did  not  hear  the  modern  version  of  the 
disappearance  of  Mr.  James  Phillimore,  here  is  the  full  story  as 
I  unfolded  it  that  night  on  the  air. 

Could  you  possibly  arrange  to  write  me  your  comments? 

Respectfully  yours, 

ELLERY  QUEEN 

P.S.  If  you  should  honor  me  by  writing,  would  you  mind 
making  sure  that  your  letter  is  not  signed  in  your  name  by 
some  ethereal  secretary,  or  even  by  Dr.  Watson?  I  should  ap- 

2  It  turned  out  to  be  the  identical  umbrella  I 


THE    DISAPPEARANCE    OF    MR.    JAMES    PHILLIMORE 

predate  very  much  having  a  genuine  Sherloct^  Holmes  auto- 
graph —  and  a  photograph  ij  you've  had  one  fallen  recently. 

E.  Q. 


The  Characters 

MR.  JAMES  PHILLIMORE    >,;,-.;.  who  disappears 

BIGGS    .     .     ;,-:;,;  ,  .j,,.-r/.r/,.  his  man 

COAL  MAN briefly 

TELEGRAPH  MESSENGER  .     .     .  briefly 

NIKKI  PORTER TLllery's  secretary 

INSPECTOR  QUEEN     ....  TLllery's  father 

SERGEANT  VELIE       ....  the  Inspector's  subordinate 

ELLERY  QUEEN who  solves  a  difficult  case, 

perforce,  on  his  bac\ 
and 

SHERLOCK.    HOLMES       .     .     .  present  in  spirit  only 

The  Scenes 

The  Queen  Apartment  —  Mr.  Phillimore's  House 
SCENE  i:  The  Queen  Apartment 

(ELLERY  is  in  bed  with  a  cold.  NIKKI  is  firmly  ministering  to  him.) 
NIKKI:  Drink  the  rest  of  your  orange  juice,  Ellery. 

ELLERY:  But  Nikki,  I  don't  want  orange  juice.  I  want  to  get  out  of 
bed.  (He  has  a  coughing  spell) 

NIKKI:  With  that  cough?  Drink  it. 

ELLERY  :  Nikki,  it's  just  a  cold  —  and  we've  got  a  lot  of  work  to  do  on 
my  novel  — 

NIKKI:  You're  staying  in  bed,  Mr.  Queen,  until  you  stop  coughing. 
You  can  dictate  from  bed. 

ELLERY:  (Grumpily)  All  right.  Get  your  notebook. 

NIKKI:  Never  knew  a  man  yet  who  didn't  act  like  a  puppy  with  a 
sore  nose  when  he  was  sick.  (Door  opens  off)  Inspector? 


92      THE    DISAPPEARANCE    OF    MR.    JAMES    PHILLIMORE 

INSPECTOR:  Yes,  Nikki.  How's  the  sick  man?  (£LLERY  coughs)  Say, 

that's  a  bad  cough,  son  — 

NIKKI:  And  he  wants  to  get  out  of  bed,  Inspector! 
INSPECTOR:  (Grimly)  Oh,  he  does  ?  Well,  he's  not  going  to.  (Chuckles) 

It's  a  shame,  too. 

ELLERY:  What's  a  shame?  What  are  you  looking  so  gay  about,  Dad? 
INSPECTOR:  It's  a  great  day,  son.  Yes,  sir!  I've  got  a  rendezvous  with 
Velie  to  close  the  book  on  the  career  of  a  bird  who  should  have 
been  in  jail  years  ago. 
ELLERY:  Who's  that,  Dad? 
INSPECTOR:  Little  Jim. 
ELLERY:  Little  Jim?  (Groans) 
NIKKI:  Who  is  Little  Jim,  Inspector? 

INSPECTOR:  James  Phillimore,  Nikki—  The  20  Per  Cent  King. 
ELLERY  :  And  I  have  to  be  laid  up!  I'm  getting  out  of  — 

INSPECTOR:  You're  staying  right  where  you  are.  (Wieldly)  We  were 
tipped  off  that  Little  Jim  made  a  reservation  on  this  morning  s 
plane  to  South  America.  So  I  threw  a  squad  around  his  house  last 
night  and  we'll  grab  Mr.  Phillimore  when  he  leaves  with  that 
satchel  full  of  John  Q.  Public's  dough. 

NIKKI:  What's  his  racket,  Inspector? 

INSPECTOR:  He  "invests"  your  money  for  you.  Guarantees  20  per  cent 
interest. 

NIKKI:  But  how  can  he  keep  paying  20  per  cent? 

ELLERY:  It's  very  simple,  Nikki.  Little  Jim  takes  your  $100,  pays  out 
$20  —  that  leaves  him  $80. 

NIKKI:  But  Ellery,  he  can't  do  that  indefinitely! 

INSPECTOR:  There's  always  a  fresh  crop  of  suckers,  Nikki.  The  new 
money  keeps  paying  off  the  old  interest. 

NIKKI:  But  eventually  a  lot  of  people  must  want  all  their  money 
back. 


THE    DISAPPEARANCE    OF    MR.    JAMES    PHILLIMORE       93 

ELLERV  :  When  that  unhappy  moment  comes,  Nikki,  Little  Jim  packs 
up  the  remaining  assets  and  departs  hastily  for  cooler  climes.  Same 
old  story,  Dad.  Remember  William  F.  Miller  and  his  "Franklin 
Syndicate"  in  1899? 

INSPECTOR:  Yep.  Well,  this  time  Little  Jim  waited  too  long.  So  we're 
going  to  recover  the  sucker  money  and  wrap  Mr.  James  Phillimore 
up  for  immediate  delivery  to  the  DA.  Nikki,  take  care  of  Ellery. 

NIKKI:  I  will,  Inspector.  (INSPECTOR  exits) 

ELLERY:  Blast  it.  ...  Dad!  Let  me  know  how  you  make  out! 

SCENE  2:  Exterior  of  the  Phillimore  House 

(SERGEANT  VELIE  is  s\ul\ing  behind  a  bush.  INSPECTOR  QUEEN  ap- 
proaches surreptitiously?) 

VELIE:  Hi,  Inspector. 

INSPECTOR:  Morning,  Velie.  How  goes  it? 

VELIE:  Smooth  as  a  baby's  neck,  Inspector.  Not  a  soul's  left  the  house 
since  we  checked  Little  Jim  in  last  night.  I've  been  watchin'  from 
the  front  gate  here.  Huh  .  .  .  Here  comes  Little  Jim  now! 

INSPECTOR  :  Marching  out  of  his  front  door  with  his  black  bag,  cocky 
as  an  Irish  cop.  Down,  Velie!  Let  him  walk  right  into  the  arms  of 
the  law. 

VELIE:  What  a  runt. 

INSPECTOR:  Five-foot-one  of  pure  cussedness.  Wait  a  minute  —  why's 
he  stopped  ?  What's  he  looking  up  at  the  sf(y  for? 

VELIE:  (Intently)  Says  to  himself:  "Looks  like  rain.  So  I'll  turn 
around  and  go  back  into  the  house  for  an  umbrella  —  "  and  there 
he  goes,  Inspector! 

INSPECTOR:  Where,  Velie?  I've  lost  him  under  that  portico  in  front  of 
the  door !  Let's  get  closer  —  I  want  to  make  sure  he  doesn't  pull  a 
sneak.  (They  hurry  towards  the  house,  dodging  from  bush  to 
bush) 


94      THE    DISAPPEARANCE    OF    MR.    JAMES    PHILLIMORE 

VELIE:  That  little  twerp  is  li'ble  to  pull  anything.  There  he  is,  In- 

pector!  See  him  now? 
INSPECTOR:  Yeah.  Back  into  the  house.  (Front  door  slams}  We'll 

wait  right  here,  Velie,  till  he  comes  out  again.  Got  to  nab  him  with 

that  bag  on  him. 
VELIE:  Inspector,  if  Little  Jim  gets  outa  this  house  without  us  or  the 

boys  spotting  him,  he  ain't  a  fraud  artist  —  he's  a  magician! 

SCENE  3:  Same,  Fifteen  Minutes  Later 

(INSPECTOR  QUEEN  paces  in  front  of  the  Phillimore  house  restlessly. 
SERGEANT  VELIE  appears  from  the  side  driveway.) 

INSPECTOR:  Well,  Velie?  What  do  the  men  say? 

VELIE:  They  say  nobody's  left  the  house,  Inspector.  So  Little  Jim's 
still  inside. 

INSPECTOR:  Fifteen  minutes  to  get  an  umbrella?  Use  your  head,  Velie! 
Phillimore  spotted  us  —  he's  up  to  something.  I'm  not  waiting  any 
longer!  (They  run  to  the  front  door)  Ring  that  bell,  Velie! 

VELIE:  (Rings  bell}  I  tell  ya,  Inspector,  it's  O.K.  (Door  opens)  Uh, 
uh.  Who's  this  beanpole  ? 

BIGGS:  (A  very  tall  thin  man)  Yes,  sir? 

INSPECTOR:  Where's  Little  Jim? 

BIGGS:  Beg  pardon,  sir? 

INSPECTOR:  James  Phillimore!  Where  is  he? 

BIGGS:  Oh.  Mr.  Phillimore  is  not  here,  sir. 

VELIE:  Now,  listen,  Daddy  Longlegs,  Little  Jim  came  outa  here  fif- 
teen minutes  ago,  ducked  right  back  in  —  and  he  ain't  been  out 
since. 

INSPECTOR:  I'm  Inspector  Queen  of  Police  Headquarters.  Quit  stall- 
ing! Where's  Phillimore  ? 

BIGGS:  But  you  must  be  mistaken,  sir.  Mr.  Phillimore  did  leave 
fifteen  minutes  ago,  but  I  didn't  see  him  return  — 


THE    DISAPPEARANCE    OF    MR.    JAMES    PHILLIMORE      95 

INSPECTOR:  Well,  we  did.  Velie,  search  the  house.  I'll  wait  here  in 
the  foyer  with  this  man. 

VELIE:  (Going)  Phillimore's  last  stand,  huh?  Play  in'  hard  to  get  — 
(He  disappears  up  the  front  staircase) 

INSPECTOR:  So  you're  covering  up  for  him.  Who  are  you? 
BIGGS:  Mr.  Phillimore's  man,  sir,  Jonathan  Biggs,  sir. 

INSPECTOR:  (Chuckling)  Quite  a  team,  aren't  you?  Phillimore's  a 
five-footer  and  you're  six  foot  four,  Mr.  Biggs,  if  you're  an  inch. 

BIGGS:  Yes,  sir.  Mr.  Phillimore  wouldn't  engage  anyone  but  a  very 
tall  person.  He's  so  sensitive  about  his  height,  sir. 

INSPECTOR:  Yes,  these  little  guys  cause  all  the  trouble. 

BIGGS:  I  wouldn't  know  about  that, ;  sir.  But  Mr.  Phillimore  gets 
furious  if  you  refer  to  him  as  "little."  That's  why  he  wears  a 
beard,  sir.  (Confidentially)  I  believe  it  makes  him  feel  bigger  and 
more  masterful. 

INSPECTOR:  Well,  he'll  get  a  quick  trim  in  Sing  Sing.  (Calling) 
Velie!  What's  taking  you  so  long? 

VELIE:  (From  upstairs)  I  guess  Jimmy-boy  wants  to  play  peekaboo, 
Inspector! 

INSPECTOR:  I'll  peekaboo  him.  Biggs,  why's  it  so  cold  in  this  house? 
Run  out  of  oil-ration  coupons? 

BIGGS:  Oh,  no,  sir.  We  burn  coal. 

INSPECTOR:  Then  why  don't  you  burn  some?  The  temperature  here 
would  discourage  an  Eskimo. 

BIGGS:  I  was  about  to  go  down  to  the  cellar,  sir,  when  you  arrived. 
We're  expecting  a  coal  delivery  this  morning  —  I  was  going  to  put 
the  last  few  shovelsful  in  the  furnace  .  .  . 

INSPECTOR:  Don't  let  me  keep  you.  But  come  right  back.  (Bices  leaves) 
Brr.  (Calling)  Velie,  how  long  does  it  take  to  find  one  man  in 
one  house? 

VELIE:  (From  upstairs)  You  tell  me,  Inspector!  I'm  still  lookin'I 


96      THE    DISAPPEARANCE    OF    MR.    JAMES    PHILLIMORE 

SCENE  4:  Interior,  Phillimore  House,  Later 

(INSPECTOR  QUEEN  is  still  in  the  foyer;  BIGGS  has  returned  from  the 
cellar.  SERGEANT  VELIE  appears,  shading  his  head.} 

INSPECTOR:  What's  the  matter,  Velie?  Where's  Little  Jim? 

VELIE:  Inspector,  I'm  baffled. 

BIGGS:  I  told  you,  sir  — Mr.  Phillimore  isn't  here. 

INSPECTOR:  Then  you  didn't  cover  everything,  Velie. 

VELIE:  Izzat  so?  I  looked  my  eyes  out!  Every  room. 

INSPECTOR:  Velie,  I'm  in  no  mood  for  gags. 

VELIE:  (Hotly)  Who's  gaggin'?  I'm  not  gaggin',  Inspector.  He  ain't 

here. 

INSPECTOR:  Did  you  look  in  the  basement?  The  attic?  All  the  closets? 
VELIE  :  I  tell  ya  I  looked  every  place,  Inspector. 
INSPECTOR:  But  — Velie,  you  stay  here  in  the  house.  I'll  send  a  few 

of  the  boys  in  to  help  you  make  another  search.  Meanwhile,  you 

—  Biggs  —  don't  leave  this  house.  Is  that  clear  ? 

BIGGS:  Perfectly,  sir. 

INSPECTOR:  Velie,  keep  your  eye  on  this  long  drink  of  water.  He's 
too  smooth  to  suit  me.  Another  thing.  I'm  giving  strict  orders  to 
the  men  on  duty  outside  that  no  one  leaves  this  house  except  you 
and  me,  Velie,  unless  he's  got  one  of  my  cards  as  a  pass  —  and 
signed  by  me,  to  boot! 

VELIE:  But  Inspector,  I  tell  you  Little  Jim  ain't  here. 

INSPECTOR:  (Angry}  He  must  be  here!  Biggs,  get  out  of  my  way. 
I'm  going  home  and  talk  to  Ellery! 

SCENE  5:  The  Queen  Apartment 

(INSPECTOR  QUEEN  has  returned  home  and  told  ELLERY,  still  sicJ^  in 
bed,  the  astonishing  story  of  the  man  who  went  bac\  into  his 
house  for  an  umbrella  and  vanished.  The  INSPECTOR,  NIKKI,  and 
ELLERY  are  in  ELLERY'S  bedroom.} 


THE    DISAPPEARANCE    OF    MR.    JAMES    PHILLIMORE       (# 

ELLERY:  You've  got  it  all  down,  Nikki? 

NIKKI:  Yes,  Ellery.  Full  description  of  Mr.  Phillimore's  house  and 
all  the  rooms. 

ELLERY:  Now  Dad.  You  and  Velie  saw  James  Phillimore  come  out 
through  the  front  door.  You  saw  him  pause,  look  up  at  the  sky, 
and  .  .  .  you  unquestionably  saw  him  go  back  inside  ? 

INSPECTOR:  How  many  times  do  I  have  to  tell  you?  He  went  back  in! 

ELLERY:  Then  that's  a  fact.  (He  reflects  earnestly}  After  Little  Jim 
went  back  into  the  house,  no  one  left  it,  you  say  ? 

INSPECTOR:  My  men  had  every  possible  exit  covered,  son. 
ELLERY:  Obviously,  then,  Little  Jim  is  still  in  there. 

NIKKI:  But  Ellery,  Sergeant  Velie  and  the  other  detectives  searched 
every  nook  and  cranny! 

ELLERY  :  That's  what  makes  this  such  an  interesting  problem,  Nikki. 
Dad,  let's  start  at  the  bottom  of  the  house  and  work  up.  How  about 
the  cellar? 

INSPECTOR:  Solid  concrete.  Floor,  ceiling,  walls  all  tapped. 
ELLERY  :  Any  packing  cases  in  the  cellar  ?  Old  trunks  ? 

INSPECTOR:  No.  All  we  found  down  there  are  two  coal  bins.  One 
empty,  the  other  with  a  couple  of  shovelsful  of  coal  in  it.  The 
basement's  out,  Ellery. 

ELLERY:  The  ground  floor  — 

NIKKI:  Three  rooms  —  living  room,  study,  kitchen. 

ELLERY:  Living  room  first.  Dad,  how  about  the  fireplace? 

INSPECTOR:  Thoroughly  investigated.  Also  all  the  walls,  floor,  ceiling 
—  not  only  in  that  room  but  in  every  room  in  the  house,  Ellery. 

ELLERY:  Does  the  living  room  have  a  grand  piano? 
INSPECTOR:  By  Jove,  yes!  I  wonder  if  Velie  looked  in  there. 

ELLERY:  Note,  Nikki:  Search  interior  of  piano.  (NIKKI  ma\es  a 
note}  Now  —  the  kitchen.  Closets?  Pantry? 

INSPECTOR:  All  covered. 


98      THE    DISAPPEARANCE    OF    MR.    JAMES    PHILLIMORE 

ELLERY:  Refrigerator?  Remember,  Phillimore's  only  five  foot  one 
and  skinny  as  a  spindle. 

INSPECTOR:  I'd  better  check  with  Velie  on  that,  son. 
NIKKI:  (As  if  noting)  Check  .  .  .  refrigerator. 
ELLERY:  The  study.  Is  there  a  safe? 

INSPECTOR:  Yes.  Phillimore's  man,  Biggs,  opened  it  for  us.  Nothing 
in  the  safe  but  unimportant  papers. 

ELLERY:  What  about  the  foyer,  Dad? 

INSPECTOR:  Suit  of  armor. 

NIKKI:  I'll  bet  that's  it! 

INSPECTOR:  You'd  lose,  Nikki.  We  looked  inside. 

NIKKI:  I  suppose  all  the  closets  were  searched,  too? 

INSPECTOR:  Every  one  in  the  house,  upstairs  and  down.  And  the 
bathrooms.  And  the  attic  — and  the  roof  — 

ELLERY:  That's  the  whole  house,  then.  No!  The  garage  — 
INSPECTOR:  We  went  through  it. 
ELLERY:  Did  you  search  the  car? 

INSPECTOR:  I  left  that  to  Velie.  However,  I'd  better  check  it  personally. 
Note  car  trunk  compartment,  Nikki. 

ELLERY  :  Nikki,  go  back  to  Phillimore's  house  with  Dad.  When  Dad's 
checked  the  piano,  refrigerator,  and  car,  phone  me  the  results. 

NIKKI:  I  can  see  it  coming,  though  — Mr.  James  Phillimore  isn't 
hiding  in  any  of  those  places,  Ellery! 

ELLERY:  I'm  inclined  to  agree,  Nikki.  Toughest  case  all  winter, 
and  I  have  to  investigate  it  on  my  back! 

SCENE  6:  The  Phillimore  House,  Later 

(INSPECTOR  QUEEN,  NIKKI,  VELIE  and  BIGGS  are  in  the  lower  hall. 
A  doorbell  rings  from  the  rear  of  the  house.) 

INSPECTOR:  Biggs,  what's  that  bell? 

BIGGS:  The  rear  door,  Inspector.  (They  all  troop  into  the  \itchen} 


THE    DISAPPEARANCE    OF    MR.    JAMES    PHILLIMORE      99 

INSPECTOR:  Velie,  unlock  it  and  slide  the  bolt. 

VELIE:  Uh-huh.  (He  obeys  and  opens  door.  A  workman  with  sooty 
hands  and  face  stands  outside}  Yeah? 

COAL  MAN:  Coal  company.  Got  two  tons  to  deliver. 

NIKKI:  It's  about  time.  It  was  warm  here  for  a  while,  but  now  it's 
getting  cold  again. 

COAL  MAN:  Well,  if  it's  O.K.  .  .  . 

VELIE:  Now,  now.  Don't  step  inside,  fella. 

INSPECTOR:  Velie,  go  outside  with  this  man.  Let  him  run  his  coal 
chute  into  the  cellar  window  to  the  bin,  but  he's  not  to  set  foot 
in  any  part  of  the  house. 

VELIE:  Yes,  sir.  Anybody  with  you,  my  anthracite  friend? 
COAL  MAN:  I  got  a  helper. 

INSPECTOR:  Stick  with  both  of  'em  every  second,  Velie.  (VELIE  leaves; 
INSPECTOR  loc\s  and  bolts  the  door)  Now,  Nikki,  let's  you  and  I 
search  those  places  Ellery  mentioned! 

SCENE  7:  The  Same,  Later 

(The  rear  doorbell  rings.  INSPECTOR  QUEEN  unlocks  and  unbolts 

the  door.) 

INSPECTOR:  Oh,  Velie.  Well?  What's  about  the  coal? 
VELIE:  It's  in,  Inspector. 

COAL  MAN:  (From  behind  VELIE)  Hey,  this  big  guy  says  I  gotta 
have  a  pass  to  let  me  and  my  helper  out.  What  goes  here,  anyway  ? 
(The  INSPECTOR  ma\es  out  a  pass  and  signs  it) 

INSPECTOR:  Here's  your  pass.  Velie,  go  out  with  'em  —  and  better 
examine  that  truck,  just  to  make  sure.  (VELIE  and  the  COAL  MAN 
leave,  and  the  INSPECTOR  rejastens  the  door)  Nikki!  Where  are  you  ? 

NIKKI:  (From  another  room)  In  the  study  alcove  off  the  foyer, 
Inspector! 

INSPECTOR:  Whom  are  you  talking  to,  Nikki?  (He  joins  her  in  the 
study  alcove) 


100       THE    DISAPPEARANCE    OF 'MR.    JAMES    PHILLIMORE 

NIKKI:  Ellery  — on  the  phone.  He's  furious. 

ELLERY  :  (On  the  telephone  throughout}  Nothing  in  the  piano,  Nikki? 

NIKKI:  Only  strings  and  sounding  board,  Ellery. 

ELLERY:  Don't  be  cute!  Refrigerator? 

NIKKI:  Filled  with  goodies.  Which  reminds  me.  I'm  starved. 

ELLERY:  (Groaning)  A  man  vanishes  like  the  Cheshire  cat  and  she's 

hungry!  What  about  the  car  in  the  garage? 
NIKKI:  He's  not  in  it,  Ellery.  Now  what  shall  I  tell  the  Inspector 

to  do? 

ELLERY:  Blessed  if  I  know.  Anything  new  happen? 
NIKKI:  A  coal  truck  just  delivered  two  tons  of  coal. 
ELLERY:  What!  (Excitedly)  Let  me  talk  to  Dad! 
NIKKI:  Your  celebrated  son  wishes  a  word  with  you,  Inspector. 

(She  hands  the  telephone  to  INSPECTOR  QUEEN) 
INSPECTOR:  Now  Ellery,  keep  your  shirt  on.  I  kept  the  two  coal  men 
from  entering  the  house  and  Velie  was  with  'em  every  minute.  So 
Little  Jim  can't  have  sneaked  out  through  the  cellar  window. 
ELLERY:  I  realize  that,  Dad.  But  don't  you  realize  that  he  may  be 

playing  hide-and-go-seek  with  you? 
INSPECTOR:  Come  again? 

ELLERY:  While  you  were  searching  one  part  of  the  house,  Phillimore 
may  have  been  hiding  in  another  part.  When  you  came  to  his 
part,  he  slipped  off  to  still  another  place!  How  do  you  know  he 
wasn't  in  the  coal  bin  when  the  coal  started  sliding  down  the 
chute?  How  do  you  know  he  isn't  buried  under  the  coal  at  this 
moment? 

INSPECTOR:  I'm  ready  to  believe  anything. 
ELLERY:  You'd  better  check,  Dad.  And  call  me  back. 
INSPECTOR:  All  right,  (He  hangs  up} 
NIKKI:  What's  Ellery  say,  Inspector? 

INSPECTOR:  (Groaning)  As  soon  as  Velie  gets  back  into  the  house, 
Nikki  — we  start  shoveling  coal! 


THE    DISAPPEARANCE    OF    MR.    JAMES    PHILLIMORE        101 

NIKKI:  And  for  goodness'  sake,  Inspector,  while  you're  at  it,  put 
some  in  that  furnace. 


SCENE  8:  The  Same,  Later 
INSPECTOR:  Well,  Velie? 

NIKKI:    (Giggling)    Sergeant,   you    look   like   an   end   man   in   a 
minstrel   show. 

VELIE:  Shovel  coal!  Keep  the  furnace  going!  What  else  do  you  gotta 
do  on  this  job?  Look  at  me!  My  wife'll  have  a  fit. 

INSPECTOR:  Never  mind  your  wife.  Did  you  transfer  all  that  coal 
to  the  other  bin? 

VELIE:  Yeah!   (Cunningly)  And  guess  what  we  found  under  that 
coal,  Inspector. 

INSPECTOR:   (Biting  eagerly)   What,  Velie? 

VELIE:  (Bellowing)  Coal  dust!  (The  telephone  rings) 

NIKKI:  I'll  get  it.  Hello?  Just  a  minute,  Ellery!  Inspector,  it's  Ellery 
and  he's  all  agog. 

INSPECTOR:  (Taking  the  telephone)  Hello,  son. 
ELLERY:  Dad!  Was  Little  Jim  under  the  coal? 
INSPECTOR:  He  was  not!  Any  more  bright  ideas,  Mr.  Queen? 

ELLERY:  Mmm.  Well,  the  coal  was  a  long  shot.  But  we  had  to 
eliminate  it.  Dad,  I  know  where  James  Phillimore  is! 

INSPECTOR:  (Belligerently)  Where? 

ELLERY:  In  the  only  place  left  for  him  to  hide. 

INSPECTOR:  I'm  still  listening. 

ELLERY:  You  said  Phillimore's  study  is  off  the  foyer.  You  listed  all 
the  study  furniture.  But  Dad,  you  left  out  one  thing. 

INSPECTOR:  You're  lying  there  in  bed  halfway  across  town  and  you're 
telling  me  I  left  out  something  ?  What  ? 

ELLERY  :  A  study  usually  has  a  desk.  You  didn't  mention  one. 
INSPECTOR:  I  didn't?  Well,  it's  a  fact  there  is  a  desk  here  ...  By 


102       THE    DISAPPEARANCE    OP    MR.    JAMES    PHILLIMORE 

thunder,  Ellery,  you're  right!  And  it's  one  of  those  old-fashioned 
rolltop  desks  at  that!  Hold  on.  Velie!  Ellery's  solved  it. 

NIKKI  :  He  has,  Inspector  ? 
VELIE:  Where's  he  say  Little  Jim's  hidin'? 
INSPECTOR:  In  that  rolltop  desk,  Velie.  Search  it! 
VELIE:  Say,  we  did  miss  that  before.  (Grim)  Phillimore,  come  outa 
there.  (He  slides  the  top  open}  Huh? 

NIKKI:  It's  empty. 

INSPECTOR:  Solved  it!  (He  bar^s  into  the  telephone)  Ellery!  You  were 
wrong,  my  son.  The  desk  is  empty  .  .  . 

ELLERY:  But  it  can't  be— (The  front  doorbell  rings) 

INSPECTOR:  Hang  on  a  minute,  Ellery.  Velie,  answer  the  front  door- 
bell. 

BIGGS  :  (Appearing)  But  I'll  answer  it,  sir. 

INSPECTOR:  Biggs,  you'll  stay  where  you  are!  Velie,  who  is  it? 

VELIE:  (Off)  Telegraph  boy,  Inspector,  with  a  wire  for  Biggs. 

BIGGS:  (Eagerly)  I'll  take  that,  sir  — 

INSPECTOR:  You  will  not.  Don't  move.  Velie,  grab  that  wire. 

ELLERY:  (Through  the  telephone)  Dad,  who's  that  wire  from? 

INSPECTOR:  Wait,  this  phone  has  a  long  cord  — I'll  take  it  out  into 
the  foyer.  Hold  on,  son.  Nikki,  take  the  phone.  Velie,  give  me 
that  wire. 

VELIE:  Here  you  are,  Inspector.  Biggs,  stand  still. 

BIGGS:  But  it's  my  wire,  sir. 

NIKKI:  (Into  telephone)  The  Inspector's  opening  the  telegram,  El- 
lery. 

ELLERY:  For  pity's  sake,  what's  it  say,  Nikki? 

INSPECTOR:   (Spluttering)   But  — but  it  can't  be!   It's  impossible! 

MESSENGER:  Can  I  please  have  a  pass  or  somethin'  to  get  outa  here? 
The  guy  at  the  gate  says  I  gotta  have  a  pass.  I  got  other  telegrams  to 
deliver,  you  know. 


THE    DISAPPEARANCE    OF    MR.    JAMES    PHILLIMORE       103 

INSPECTOR:  Here,  Velie.  Give  him  this  pass. 

VELIE:  Now  scram,  squirt.  (The  MESSENGER  exits,  front  door  closes) 
What's  the  wire  say,  Inspector? 

INSPECTOR:  Nikki,  hand  me  that  phone.  Ellery,  listen  to  this!  I  can't 
believe  it  — 

ELLERY:  (Shouting)  Can't  believe  what  — 

INSPECTOR:  It's  from  James  Phillimore!  Yes!  It's  addressed  to  his  man, 
Biggs,  and  it  says:  GOT  OUT  OF  HOUSE  AS  PLANNED.  BRING  CLOTHES 

AND   PAPERS   TO  MEETING   PLACE   AGREED  ON.  —  Signed  —  JAMES   PHIL- 
LIMORE. 

BIGGS:  (Snarling)  Out  of  my  way! 

• 

INSPECTOR:  Velie,  grab  that  man.  Don't  let  Biggs  get  away. 

VELIE:  Oh,  no,  you  don't,  flunkey — (He  grabs  BIGGS  and  they 
struggle) 

NIKKI:  Sergeant  —  look  out  — 

VELIE:  Oh,  yeah?  (He  tries  vainly  to  get  BIGGS  down  on  the  floor) 

ELLERY:  Dad,  for  heaven's  sake,  what's  going  on  there? 

INSPECTOR:  Biggs  tried  to  beat  it.  Velie's  wrestling  with  him  —  trying 
to  get  him  down  on  the  floor,  but  he  can't.  (Sarcastically)  What's 
the  matter,  Velie  —  didn't  you  have  your  vitamins  today  ? 

VELIE:  (Panting)  I  can't  get  this  guy  of?  his  feet.  O.K.,  brother, 
I'll  cut  you  down  to  size!  (He  punches  BIGGS  on  the  jaw.  BIGGS 
crashes  to  the  floor) 

NIKKI:  What  a  fall  was  there,  my  countrymen. 

INSPECTOR:  Velie's  got  Biggs,  son.  But  how  did  Little  Jim  get  out 
of  the  house?  I'll  swear  nobody  left  here! 

ELLERY:  Yes  .  .  .  (Chuckles)  .  .  .  Yes,  of  course! 
INSPECTOR:  Yes  —  of  —  course  what,  Ellery? 
ELLERY:  Of  course  I  know  where  Little  Jim  is! 

INSPECTOR:  Is  that  so?  You  thought  you  knew  once  before,  Ellery, 
and  you  were  wrong! 


104       THE    DISAPPEARANCE    OF.  MR.    JAMES    PHILLIMORE 

ELLERY:  Dad,  this  time  I'm  positive.  I've  solved  the  problem  of  James 
Phillimore-the  man  who  stepped  back  into  his  own  house  to 
get  his  umbrella  and  was  never  more  seen  in  this  world! 

THE  SOLUTION 

SCENE  9:  The  Same,  Immediately  After 

INSPECTOR:  You've  solved  it,  son?  But  what  —  where  -  how ? 

ELLERY:  Never  mind  now,  Dad.  Did  you  ask  the  telegraph  mes- 
senger the  obvious  question? 

INSPECTOR:  Did  I  — What  obvious  question? 

ELLERY  :  Oh,  lord.  Dad,  maybe  it's  still  not  too  late.  Where's  the  boy 
now? 

INSPECTOR:  He  just  left.  Wait  a  minute -I  still  see  him  through  the 
foyer  window.  Piggott's  examining  the  pass  I  just  gave  him,  at 
the  front  gate. 

ELLERY:  Good.  Hold  the  boy,  Dad,  and  bring  him  to  me  here.  I'll 
ask  him  that  question  myself! 

SCENE  10:  The  Queen  Apartment,  Later 
(They  are  grouped  around  ELLERY'S  bed.) 
VELIE:  O.K.,  so  we've  got  the  messenger  boy  outside  your  bedroom, 

Maestro.  Now  what? 

ELLERY:  Fine,  Sergeant.  Keep  the  boy  there  for  a  moment. 
INSPECTOR:  What  I  want  to  know,  son,  is  —  where's  James  Phil- 

limore  ? 
NIKKI:  Yes,  Ellery-how  did  he  get  out  of  the  house. with  a  dozen 

detectives  watching  every  possible  exit? 
ELLERY:   Elementary,  Nikki.  Dad,  just   answer   my   questions.   Is 

Little  Jim  in  that  house  now? 
INSPECTOR:  No,  son.  I'll  stake  my  shield  on  that. 
ELLERY:  If  he  isn't  in  the  house,  then  he  must  be  outside  the  house. 

Right? 


THE    DISAPPEARANCE    OF    MR.    JAMES    PHILLIMORE        105 

NIKKI:  Naturally. 

ELLERY  :  How  many  people  left  the  house  during  the  day,  Dad  ?  — 
Not  including  yourselves  or  the  detectives. 

INSPECTOR:  I  told  you  a  dozen  times,  Ellery:  Nobody  left  that  house. 
ELLERY:  Oh,  but  that's  not  so,  Dad.  Three  people  left  it. 
VELIE:  Three?  Inspector,  he's  delirious. 

ELLERY:  Come,  come,  didn't  the  coal  men  come  to  the  house  and 
then  leave  it  ?  That  makes  two  — 

INSPECTOR:  But  they  never  stepped  into  the  house,  Ellery! 

VELIE:  And  I  was  with  'em  every  second  while  they  sent  the  coal 
down  the  chute  from  outside  the  house,  Maestro.  I  even  examined 
the  truck  before  they  left. 

INSPECTOR:  So  Little  Jim  wasn't  in  the  truck,  and  he  wasn't  one  of 
the  coal  men,  Ellery. 

ELLERY  :  Oh,  you're  quite  right  about  that.  So  that  eliminates  two  of 
the  three  persons  who  left  the  house.  Therefore,  the  third  person 
must  be  Little  Jim. 

NIKKI:  (Excited}  I've  got  it!  Ellery,  you're  wrong!  Little  Jim  never 
left  the  house  at  all,  Inspector! 

INSPECTOR:  But  Nikki,  we  searched  it  from  top  to  bottom.  If  he  was 
in  the  house  all  the  time,  where  was  he? 

NIKKI:  He  was  in  front  of  your  eyes,  Inspector.  Little  Jim  was  .  .  . 
Biggs,  the  servant! 

VELIE  :  He  played  two  parts  ?  Say  .  .  . 

INSPECTOR:  Phillimore  is  five  foot  one,  Nikki.  Biggs  is  six  foot  four! 

NIKKI  :  (Airily}  He  faked  the  extra  height,  Inspector.  Used  stilts,  or 
something. 

ELLERY:  Stilts?  No,  Nikki.  Velie  actually  wrestled  with  Biggs  and 
couldn't  even  get  him  off  his  feet!  If  Biggs  were  on  stilts,  no  matter 
how  strong  he  was,  you  could  have  pushed  him  over,  Nikki.  No  — 
call  in  that  telegraph  boy,  Sergeant,  and  I'll  ask  him  the  obvious 
question  Dad  forgot.  (VELIE  brings  in  the  MESSENGER) 


106      THE   DISAPPEARANCE    OF1  MR.    JAMES    PHILLIMORE 
INSPECTOR:  (Exasperated}  What  obvious  question,  for  Pete's  sake? 
VELIE:  Here's  the  boy,  Maestro. 
MESSENGER:  (Fearfully}  What  — what  do  you  want,  mister? 

ELLERY:  I  want  to  ask  you  a  question,  sonny.  (Chuckles}  Here  it  is: 
you're  James  Phillimore,  aren't  you?  (There. is  a  moment  of  com- 
plete silence} 

INSPECTOR:  (Spluttering)  He's  Little  Jim,  Ellery?  This  boy? 

ELLERY:  What  makes  him  a  boy,  Dad?  His  small  size.  His  clean- 
shaven cheeks.  His  messenger's  uniform.  His  high-pitched  voice. 
No,  no,  he's  not  a  boy  — he's  a  man.  James  Phillimore,  in  fact. 
He  must  be.  He's  the  only  other  person  who  left  the  house. 

MESSENGER:  (Backing  away}  Think  you're  clever,  don't  you? 
VELIE:  Stand  — still! 
INSPECTOR:  (Softly}  I  get  it. 

NIKKI  :  But  Ellery,  how  did  he  leave  the  house  in  the  first  place  in 
order  to  come  bac\  as  the  messenger? 

ELLERY  :  He  didn't  leave  at  all,  Nikki. 

INSPECTOR:  Now  I  see  it!  He  prepared  his  escape  in  advance.  He  had 
this  telegraph  messenger's  uniform  ready.  And  a  telegram,  which 
he'd  sent  to  himself  some  time  ago.  All  he  had  to  do  today  was 
change  the  date  and  reseal  the  envelope. 

ELLERY:  Yes,  Dad,  and  when  he  spotted  you  this  morning  waiting 
for  him  outside  the  house,  he  quickly  went  back  in,  shaved  off 
his  beard,  put  on  the  uniform,  told  Biggs  to  play  stupid,  and  then 
hid  in  the  only  place  you  did  not  search  — 

INSPECTOR:  The  rolltop  desk! 

ELLERY  :  Precisely.  Just  before  I  phoned  about  the  desk,  he  saw  that 
the  coast  was  clear  — nobody  was  in  the  study  or  foyer.  So  he 
jumped  out  of  the  desk,  ran  to  the  front  door,  opened  it,  went  out 
and  stood  in  the  portico  — 

VELIE:  Then  why  didn't  Piggott  at  the  front  gate  see  him,  Ellery? 

ELLERY  :  He  couldn't,  Sergeant.  Remember  when  you  and  Dad  first 


THE    DISAPPEARANCE    OF    MR.    JAMES    PHILLIMORE       IOJ 

saw  Little  Jim  re-enter  the  house  this  morning,  Dad  said  you'd 
"lost"  him  —  couldn't  see  him  in  the  portico  until  you  got  closer 
to  the  front  door  ?  ...  So  then  Phillimore  rang  the  bell,  delivered 
his  "telegram,"  and  calmly  asked  for  a  pass  to  get  him  off  the 
premises! 

VELIE:  Makin'  diis  little  devil  sneakier  dian  a  Jap.  Come  along 
quietly,  Phillimore,  or  I'll  break  you  in  little  pieces.  (INSPECTOR 
QUEEN,  SERGEANT  VELIE,  and  JAMES  PHILLIMORE  exeunt) 

NIKKI:  That  was  a  mighty  clever  plot,  Ellery. 

ELLERY  :  Wasn't  it  ?  I  especially  call  to  your  attention,  my  dear  Nikki, 
the  brilliant  wording  of  Little  Jim's  spurious  telegram.  It  convinced 
Inspector  Queen  that  this  daring  criminal  had  escaped,  when  all 
the  time  he  was  in  die  house  waiting  for  a  pass  from  the  Inspector 
himself  to  get  him  out! 


Detective:  SHERLOCK  HOLMES  Narrator:  WATSON 

THE  ADVENTURE  OF  THE 
REMARKABLE  WORM 

by  STUART  PALMER 


Stuart  Palmer,  creator  of  Hildegarde  Withers,  one  of  sleuth- 
dom's  most  beloved  detectivettes,  is  at  the  time  of  this  writing 
Lieutenant  Stuart  Palmer  of  the  United  States  Army.  Good 
luck^,  Stu,  and  best  wishes  from  millions  of  fans! 

Lieutenant  Palmer  wrote  this  pastiche  just  before  entering 
the  service  of  his  country.  He  wrote  it  especially  for  this  boo\ 
—  for  which  your  Editors  will  be  eternally  grateful  and  for 
which  every  reader  will  heartily  sing  out  his  fervent  thanks. 
The  "misadventure"  stems  from  one  of  Dr.  Watson's  many 
provocative  and  teasing  remarks  — this  one  to  be  found  in 
"The  Problem  of  Thor  Bridge'  l  wherein  Watson  referred 
to  "a  third  case  worthy  of  note  .  .  .  that  of  Isadora  Persano, 
the  well-known  journalist  and  duellist,  who  was  found  star\ 
staring  mad  with  a  matchbox  in  front  of  him  which  contained 
a  remarkable  worm,  said  to  be  unknown  to  science" 

Lieutenant  Palmer's  pastiche,  so  cleverly,  so  ingeniously  con- 
trived, reflects  a  lifetime  adoration  of  The  Great  Man  —  and 
in  an  even  greater  degree,  an  underdog  sympathy  for  The 
Great  Man's  Boswell,  whose  detectival  prowess  has  until  now 
been  most  sadly  neglected.  But  read  for  yourself  this  utterly 
delightful  and  satisfying  "misadventure" 

Another  pastiche  of  Sherlock^  Holmes  by  Lieutenant  Palmer 
is  scheduled  to  appear  in  the  July  1944  issue  of  "Ellery  Queen's 
Mystery  Magazine"  It  is  titled  "The  Adventure  of  the  Marked 
Man." 


THE  CASE-BOOK  OF  SHERLOCK  HOLMES;  London,  Murray,  1927;  New  York,  Doran, 
1927. 


THE    ADVENTURE    OF    THE    REMARKABLE    WORM         109 


s 


HERLOCK  HOLMES  turned  abruptly  away  from  the  bay  window, 
against  which  all  day  a  raw  April  wind  had  been  driving  rain.  The 
spring  of  '93  will  be  remembered  as  unusually  inclement,  even  for 
London,  and  as  always  the  dreariness  of  the  weather  conspired  with 
professional  inactivity  to  force  Holmes  farther  and  farther  into  the 
depths  of  black  depression. 

I  was  therefore  not  surprised  to  see  him  cross  to  the  mantelpiece 
in  three  quick  strides,  obviously  in  search  of  the  needle  I  abhorred. 
"Holmes,  I  beg  of  you!"  cried  I,  half  rising  from  my  easy  chair. 
Ordinarily  I  should  not  have  ventured  to  remonstrate  with  my 
friend,  but  all  day  the  Jezail  bullet  in  my  shoulder  2  had  been  sending 
excruciating  pains  down  my  right  side  as  far  as  the  knee,  and  I  was 
not  in  the  most  tolerant  of  moods. 

Holmes  stopped  short  and  turned  toward  me,  the  morocco  case 
in  his  hand.  "My  dear  Watson,"  he  said,  "can  you  suggest  anything 
better  than  a  7  per  cent  solution  of  cocaine?" 

1  turned  toward  the  table,  decanted  three  fingers  of  good  Irish 
whisky  into  a  tall  glass  and  then  filled  it  to  the  brim  with  sparkling 
water  from  the  gasogene.3  "If  you  will  not  listen  to  me  as  a  medical 
man,  then  give  heed  to  an  old  comrade  in  arms.  Try  this,  I  beg  of 
you.  It  is  a  far  milder  poison." 

Languidly  Holmes  accepted  the  glass,  raised  it  to  his  lips,  and 
then  put  it  aside  with  a  wry  smile  and  a  shake  of  his  head.  "Revolting, 
Watson,  most  revolting." 

More  than  a  little  nettled,  I  replied,  "But  my  dear  fellow!  As  a 
man  who  makes  a  point  of  keeping  good  Burley  tobacco  in  a  Persian 
slipper,  and  who  toasts  two-and-six  Trichinopoly  cigars  in  a  coal 
scuttle  before  the  fire,  your  sense  of  taste  cannot  be  so  terribly  af- 
fronted by  a  whisky-and-soda." 

Holmes  bowed  mockingly.  "Touche,  Watson.  I  must  confess  that 
in  the  process  of  developing  my  faculties  to  their  highest  point  it  is 
possible  my  sense  of  taste  has  atrophied.  Tobacco  in  its  moist 4  normal 
state  repels  me.  So,  by  the  way,  does  this  atrocious  mixture  of  fer- 

2  Connoisseurs:  Please  note. 

3  Connoisseurs:  Please  note. 

4  Connoisseurs:  Please  note. 


110       THE    ADVENTURE    OF    TH'E    REMARKABLE    WORM 

mented  potato  juice  and  carbon-dioxide  gas.  Granted  for  the  moment 
that  you  are  correct  in  arguing  that  the  final  results  are  less  deleterious 
to  the  system  than  the  habitual  use  of  cocaine,  still  I  have  always 
found  the  latter  drug  a  specific  in  exalting  and  stimulating  the  mental 

processes." 

Here  he  stopped,  cocking  his  head  toward  the  door.  "As  exalting, 
shall  we  say,  as  the  sudden  appearance  of  a  new  problem?" 

There  was  another  quick  step  in  the  passage,  and  then  a  nervous 
hammering  upon  our  door.  Holmes  paused  only  to  adjust  the  shade 
of  the  reading  lamp  so  that  it  fell  upon  the  vacant  chair  in  which  our 
visitor  must  sit,  and  then  crossed  to  the  door  and  flung  it  open. 

The  man  who  staggered  into  our  sitting  room  was  perhaps  of 
some  eight  and  thirty  years,  though  his  cadaverous  aspect  made  him 
appear  superficially  older.  His  apparel  spoke  of  Savile  Row,  though 
it  hung  loosely  upon  his  gaunt  frame  like  the  dress  of  a  neat  scare- 
crow. He  looked  about  him  anxiously,  turning  from  Holmes  to  me 
and  back  again.  I  could  not  help  noticing  that  there  were  deep  gentian 
circles  beneath  his  faintly  bulging  eyes,  and  that  the  man  was  ob- 
viously in  the  grip  of  a  powerful  emotion. 

"Mr.  Holmes?"  he  gasped. 

"Please  sit  down,"  said  Holmes,  indicating  the  visitor's  chair.  "I 
am  he.  And  this  is  Dr.  Watson,  my  friend  and  colleague.  If  I  may 
say  so,  it  would  appear  that  you  are  far  more  in  need  of  his  profes- 
sional services  than  of  my  own." 

"I  must  be  the  judge  of  that,"  retorted  our  caller  sharply.  He  sank 
wearily  into  the  chair,  grasping  the  arms  with  bloodless  trembling 
hands.  "I  will  begin  at  the  beginning,"  said  he.  "My  name  is  Persano." 
He  hesitated,  took  a  deep  breath,  and  went  on.  "Isadora  Persano." 

Holmes  nodded.  "Indeed?  Can  it  be  that  you  are  the  journalist 
over  whose  signature  have  recently  appeared  a  number  of  contro- 
versial articles?  In  the  Sketch,  I  believe." 

Persano  bowed,  brightening  a  little.  "I  had  no  idea,  Mr.  Holmes, 
that  my  poor  efforts  had  come  to  the  attention  of  such  a  celebrated 
person  as  yourself.  It  is  true  that  I  have  published  a  few  diatribes 
dealing  with  widely  held  popular  superstitions  .  .  ." 

"Incidentally  sinking  home  a  few  good  thrusts  at  the  medical 
profession,  I  believe?"  Holmes  nodded  toward  me,  a  flicker  of  amuse- 


THE    ADVENTURE    OF    THE    REMARKABLE    WORM         III 

ment  in  his  eye.  "The  good  doctor  here  has  not  read  them,  so  we 
may  all  still  speak  as  friends.  And  now,  Mr.  Persano,  having  had  a 
recent  opportunity  to  study  organized  medicine  at  first  hand  in  one 
of  our  London  hospitals,  you  wish  to  consult  me  —  " 

"But  this  is  black  magic,  sir!"  interrupted  the  journalist. 

"Not  in  the  least.  The  faint  but  definite  odor  of  iodoform  and 
ether  which  clings  to  your  person,  plus  an  obviously  recent  loss  of 
weight,  plus  the  fact  that  you  are  wearing  a  hospital  nightgown  in 
place  of  a  shirt,  can  only  indicate  the  conclusion  I  mentioned." 

A  flickering  smile  crossed  Persano's  face.  "Oh,  I  see.  For  a  moment 
you  gave  me  a  start.  But  now  that  you  explain  I  see  how  simple  it 
all  is." 

Holmes  nodded  wearily.  "As  usual,  I  have  made  a  mistake  in  dis- 
closing the  steps  by  which  I  arrive  at  my  deductions.  But  let  us 
get  on,  Mr.  Persano.  You  wish  to  consult  me  about  the  object  which 
bulges  in  your  right-hand  coat  pocket?" 

Isadora  Persano  fumbled  nervously,  and  then  thrust  out  at  us  a 
small  glass  flask,  well  stoppered.  Even  as  he  held  it  forth  he  kept  his 
eyes  averted,  as  if  the  very  sight  of  the  thing  in  the  bottle  were  to  be 
avoided  as  the  glance  of  Medusa. 

"Mr.  Holmes,  you  must  help  me!  I  must  find  out  the  truth  or 
lose  my  reason  forever.  Only  a  day  or  so  ago  —  I  have  somehow  lost 
track  of  time  — I  was  the  happiest  man  in  the  realm.  Today  —  " 
and  here  he  shuddered,  a  full  perspiration  breaking  out  on  his  pale 
brow  —  "today  I  am  the  most  miserable.  This  —  this  Thing  that  I 
hold  in  my  hand  is  the  reason." 

Holmes  accepted  the  flask  and  held  it  to  the  light,  so  that  we  both 
saw  clearly  its  contents.  Floating  in  a  clear  viscous  liquid  was  an 
object  both  strange  and  repellent,  a  slender,  wormlike  creature  no 
more  than  six  inches  in  length,  with  an  eyeless,  swollen  head. 

I  must  have  given  vent  to  an  involuntary  exclamation,  for  Holmes 
turned  to  me  and  nodded.  "Exactly,  Watson!  You  were  about  to  say 
that  we  are  looking  upon  a  representative  of  the  phylla  group  — 
possibly  one  of  the  Platyhdminthes,  but  most  certainly  of  a  venomous 
breed  hitherto  unknown  to  science."  He  turned  back  to  our  visitor. 
"Mr.  Persano,  how  did  you  come  by  this  thing?" 

"In  all  my  life,"  cried  Persano  wildly,  "I  have  never  intentionally 


112        THE    ADVENTURE    OF    TH-E    REMARKABLE    WORM 

caused  harm  to  any  living  being.  I  have  avoided  Error  and  pursued 
Truth  as  my  guiding  star.  Why,  then,  should  anyone  send  me  this 
object  of  horror  incarnate?" 

Holmes  turned  the  flask,  so  that  the  motion  induced  in  the  sup- 
porting liquid  caused  a  faint  serpentine  movement  of  the  creature 
inside.  "You  have  an  enemy,  no  doubt?" 

"Yes,  and  no,  Mr.  Holmes,"  the  man  replied.  "All  Harley  Street 
has  been  my  enemy  since  I  published  those  articles.  I  was  even  chal- 
lenged to  a  duel  last  week.  But  I  cannot  believe  that  any  civilized 
human  being  could  take  so  foul  a  revenge  as  this.  Imagine  it,  Mr. 
Holmes!  One  moment  I  was  walking  along  Oxford  Street,  my  mind 
filled  with  happy,  constructive  thoughts,  concentrating  upon  Health 
and  Truth.  Then  —  I  can  hardly  believe  it  even  now  —  a  blackness 
descended  upon  me.  I  have  vague  formless  memories  of  lying  there 
on  the  pavement,  with  the  avid  faces  of  a  curious  crowd  staring 
down  at  me.  And  then  — nothing!" 

"Nothing  at  all?"  pressed  Holmes. 

The  man  shook  his  head.  "Nothing  until  I  awakened.  In  the  charity 
ward  of  Charing  Cross  Hospital  I  found  myself,  weak  and  hungry 
and  filled  with  the  illusion  of  pain.  Some  poor  soul  at  the  other  end 
of  the  room  was  passing  on  to  his  reward,  his  last  struggles  occupying 
the  attention  of  the  doctors  and  nurses.  I  seized  the  opportunity  to 
recover  my  clothing  from  the  locker  at  the  foot  of  my  bed,  and  made 
my  escape,  bringing  with  me  that  flask  which  had  been  placed  on  the 
night  stand  for  my  waking  eyes  to  light  upon." 

"I  begin  to  understand,"  said  Holmes,  grimly.  I  had  expected  to 
see  him  impatient  at  this  hysterical,  maudlin  narrative,  but  on  the 
contrary  he  had  listened  with  the  greatest  concentration  of  attention. 

"You  have  an  enemy?  This  former  dueling  antagonist,  perhaps?' 

Persano  shrugged.  "Honor  was  satisfied  when  the  secretary  of  the 
College  of  Surgeons  fired  over  my  head,  and  I  over  his.  No,  Mr. 
Holmes,  I  cannot  believe  that  my  persecution  arises  from  such  a 


source  " 


ui.\.^» 

"Very  well,"  said  Holmes.  "By  the  way,  when  did  you  separate 

from  your  wife?" 
Persano  started.  "Mr.  Holmes,  this  is  unfair!  You  have  had  prior 

knowledge  of  me  and  my  affairs." 


THE    ADVENTURE    OF    THE    REMARKABLE    WORM 

"Not  in  the  least.  There  is  very  clearly  the  mark  of  a  wedding  ring 
upon  the  proper  finger  of  your  left  hand,  and  one  of  the  buttons  on 
your  waistcoat  has  been  replaced  with  thread  of  a  different  color, 
plainly  indicating  a  change  to  a  bachelor  existence.  Please  answer 
the  question." 

"Marina  and  I  separated  last  autumn,"  Persano  said.  "She  returned 
to  the  practice  of  her  profession,  and  is,  I  believe,  at  the  moment 
telling  fortunes  at  the  Red  Rose  teashop  in  Lambeth.  But  we  had  no 
quarrel  —  it  was  just  that  she  could  not,  would  not,  follow  me  into 
the  new  fields,  the  fresh  world  which  opened  to  me  when  I  finally 
got  hold  of  the  Key  of  the  Scriptures." 

I  could  not  but  detect  a  noticeable  intensification  in  Holmes's 
manner.  "Never  fear,  Mr.  Persano.  I  shall  do  my  very  best  to  help 
you.  Suppose  you  leave  this  unholy  object  with  me  for  the  time 
being?  I  think  I  shall  have  news  for  you  within  the  fortnight.  Your 
address?" 

"No.  31  Tottenham  Mews." 

"Thank  you.  Will  you  be  kind  enough  to  note  the  address,  Wat- 
son?" Holmes  ushered  our  visitor  to  the  door,  then  closed  it  after 
him  and  turned  back  toward  the  fire,  his  face  grave  and  thoughtful. 
"Quite  an  unusual  little  problem,"  he  said.  "You  will  find  parallel 
cases,  if  you  care  to  consult  the  index,  in  Malvern  in  '84,  and  Ham- 
mersmith as  late  as  year  before  last.  The  man  himself  was  most 
interesting." 

"No  doubt  you  read  a  good  deal  in  his  appearance  which  was 
invisible  to  me,"  I  remarked,  rubbing  my  lame  shoulder  tenderly. 

"Invisible?  Ah,  no,  my  good  Watson.  Just  unnoticed.  The  man  is 
obviously  a  recent  convert  to  one  of  the  new  sects,  such  as  that  which 
recently  came  to  us  from  Mrs.  Eddy  in  the  United  States  of  North 
America.  Christian  Science,  I  believe  they  call  it." 

"Science!"  I  interposed  sarcastically. 

"Exactly.  However,  it  was  a  conversion  hardly  likely  to  appeal  to 
his  wife,  with  her  Romany  background.  What  is  more  likely  than 
that  the  gypsy  girl  probed  among  the  deeper,  darker  secrets  of  her 
race  to  secure  revenge  upon  the  husband  who  had  cast  her  aside?  I 
seem  to  remember  a  similar  case  in  Prague  some  years  ago,  when  a 
jilted  Romany  woman  secured  a  most  horrible  revenge  upon  a  rival 


114        THE    ADVENTURE    OF    THE    REMARKABLE    WORM 

by  feeding  her  the  spores  of  a  new  species  of  mushroom,  developed  to 
thrive  only  upon  human  detritus.  Myriads  of  tiny  mushrooms  burst 
from  the  victim's  scalp,  from  beneath  the  fingernails  —  " 

"Holmes!"  I  cried,  shocked  to  the  marrow.  "This  is  too  much!" 

"All  the  same,"  said  Sherlock  Holmes  quietly,  "I  believe  that  a 
visit  to  the  Red  Rose  teashop  is  indicated." 

"I  refuse  to  believe  that  such  things  can  exist  in  this  civilized 
world!"  I  insisted. 

Holmes  shrugged.  He  took  up  the  flask  again,  carefully  removed 
the  wax  stopper,  and  poured  out  the  liquid  into  a  basin.  The  odor  of 
raw  spirits  filled  the  room.  He  took  a  pair  of  forceps  and  lifted  out 
the  blind,  lifeless  worm,  laying  it  on  a  bit  of  newspaper. 

"No  doubt  we  should  burn  this  unholy  object  at  once,"  he  said 
thoughtfully.  "But  I  intend  first  to  take  it  widi  me  when  we  journey 
to  Lambeth.  Will  you  be  good  enough  to  go  down  to  the  corner 
and  summon  a  hansom?" 

"In  this  deluge?"  I  shook  my  head,  sinking  back  comfortably  into 
the  velvet  lining  of  die  easy  chair. 

"Come,  come,  Watson!  The  game  is  afoot.  It  is  not  every  day  that 
we  are  confronted  with  a  worm  unknown  to  science." 

I  hesitated,  savoring  my  expected  triumph.  "Forgive  me,  Holmes. 
If  you  wish  to  visit  the  lady  fortune  teller,  my  best  wishes  go  with 
you.  But  I  can  see  no  reason  for  my  accompanying  you,  nor  for  taking 
along  that  repulsive  object  on  the  table." 

"Of  course  you  do  not  see.  You  never  do,  until  afterwards.  But  in 

this  case  .  .  ." 

"In  this  case,  Holmes,  you  are  well  off  the  target."  I  smiled,  having 
waited  for  diis  moment  ever  since  the  day  Holmes  talked  me  into 
giving  away  Fusilier,  my  bull  pup,  on  the  grounds  that  the  poor 
fellow  snored.  "As  a  matter  of  fact,  it  is  perfectly  clear  that  Mr. 
Persano  was  seized  with  a  sudden  intestinal  attack  while  strolling 
down  Oxford  Street.  Removed  to  Charing  Cross  Hospital,  an  emer- 
gency operation  was  found  necessary,  and  the  unhappy  little  man 
recovered  consciousness  alone  and  unattended,  with  the  evidence  of 
the  operation  exhibited  beside  his  bed." 

Holmes  surveyed  me  coldly.  "I  fail  to  see  what,  if  anything,  you 
are  driving  at." 

"Only  this,"  I  said.  "The  'worm  unknown  to  science'  is  unknown 


THE    ADVENTURE    OF    THE    REMARKABLE    WORM 

only  to  Christian  Science.  That  unpleasant  object  before  you  is  noth- 
ing more  than  an  infected  vermiform  appendix." 

Sherlock  Holmes  hesitated,  swallowed,  and  then  a  reluctant  smile 
broke  across  his  face.  He  extended  a  lean  brown  hand  toward  mine. 
"Apologies,  Watson!  I  forgot  for  a  moment  that  medicine  and  sur- 
gery are  your  chosen  field,  in  which  I  have  but  dabbled.  This  is  your 
triumph.  What  disposition  do  you  care  to  make  of  the  case?" 

"I  should  suggest  returning  his  appendix  to  Mr.  Isadora  Persano, 
together  with  a  note  explaining  the  truth  of  the  situation." 

Holmes  nodded.  "It  shall  be  done.  This  matchbox  should  serve 
as  an  excellent  container.  And  now,  by  the  way,  I  think  that  a  good 
dinner  at  Simpsons  would  not  be  out  of  place.  A  good  dinner  for 
you,  I  should  say.  For  myself  I  intend  to  order  a  double  serving  of 
humble  pie." 


PART  TWO: 


BY    FAMOUS    LITERARY    FIGURES 

"Perhaps  no  fiction  character  ever  created  has 
become  so  charmingly  real  to  his  readers  .  .  . 
Holmes  is  pure  anesthesia." 

—  CHRISTOPHER  MORLEY 

"Heaven  forbid  that  anyone,  with  a  hundred 
happy  hours  to  be  grateful  for  since  boyhood, 
should  ever  undervalue  the  legend  of  Sherlock 
Holmes  ...  the  only  real  legend  of  our  time." 

—  G.  K.  CHESTERTON 


Detective:  SHERLOCK  HOLMES  Narrator:  WATSON 

THE   ADVENTURE   OF   THE   TWO 
COLLABORATORS 

by  SIR  JAMES  M.  BARRIE 


Here  is  Sir  Arthur  Conan  Doyle's  nomination  for  "the  best 
of  all  the  numerous  parodies'"  of  Sherloc^  Holmes.  It  first  ap- 
peared in  print  as  part  of  Chapter  XI,  "Sidelights  on  Sherlocf( 
Holmes"  in  Doyle's  autobiography,  MEMORIES  AND  ADVENTURES 
(London,  Hodder  &  Stoughton,  1924;  Boston,  Little,  Brown, 
1924). 

We  can  thinly  of  no  better  way  of  introducing  this  burlesque 
than  to  quote  Doyle's  own  prefatory  remarks:  "Sir  James  Bar- 
rie  paid  his  respects  to  Sherloc^  Holmes  in  a  rollicking  parody. 
It  was  really  a  gay  gesture  of  resignation  over  the  failure  which 
we  had  encountered  with  a  comic  opera  for  which  he  undertook^ 
to  write  the  libretto.  I  collaborated  with  him  on  this,  but  in 
spite  of  our  joint  efforts,  the  piece  1  fell  flat.  Whereupon  Barrie 
sent  me  a  parody  on  Holmes,  written  on  the  flyleaves  of  one  of 
his  booths." 

As  boo\  collectors  of  the  species  Fanaticus  Americanus,  your 
Editors  have  always  read  those  lines  with  infinite  longing,  with 
a  surge  of  uncontrollable  cupidity.  Our  collective  heads  have 
never  failed  to  reel  dizzily  at  the  very  thought  of  that  boof^  by 
Barrie,  inscribed  by  the  author,  with  a  holograph  manuscript 
of  "The  Adventure  of  the  Two  Collaborators'1''  penned  on  the 
flyleaves. 

What  a  boo\  to  stand  on  our  hungry  shelves!  What  a  price 
it  would  fetch  at  auction!  What  a  first  edition  to  gloat  over, 
caress,  boast  about!  We  \now  at  least  six  persons  who  would 

1  JANE  ANNIE,  or  THE  GOOD  CONDUCT  PRIZE  (music  by  Ernest  Ford,  book  by  J.  M. 
Barrie  and  Conan  Doyle)  opened  at  the  Savoy  Theatre  in  London  on  May  13,  1893; 
although  kept  going  for  seven  weeks,  it  was  considered  one  of  D'Oyly  Carte's  worst 

failures. 


120       THE    ADVENTURE    OF    THE    TWO    COLLABORATORS 

cheerfully  commit  anything  up  to  and  including  murder  to  gain 
possession  of  that  unique  volume.  But  alas  .  .  .  here  is  truly 
"such  stuff  as  dreams  are  made  on  .  .  ." 


I 


_N  BRINGING  to  a  close  the  adventures  of  my  friend  Sherlock  Holmes 
I  am  perforce  reminded  that  he  never,  save  on  the  occasion  whkh, 
as  you  will  now  hear,  brought  his  singular  career  to  an  end,  consented 
to  act  in  any  mystery  which  was  concerned  with  persons  who  made 
a  livelihood  by  their  pen.  "I  am  not  particular  about  the  people  I 
mix  among  for  business  purposes,"  he  would  say,  "but  at  literary 
characters  I  draw  the  line." 

We  were  in  our  rooms  in  Baker  Street  one  evening.  I  was  (I  re- 
member) by  the  centre  table  writing  out  The  Adventure  of  the  Man 
without  a  Cor^  Leg  (which  had  so  puzzled  the  Royal  Society  and 
all  the  other  scientific  bodies  of  Europe),  and  Holmes  was  amusing 
himself  with  a  little  revolver  practice.  It  was  his  custom  of  a  summer 
evening  to  fire  round  my  head,  just  shaving  my  face,  until  he  had 
made  a  photograph  of  me  on  the  opposite  wall,  and  it  is  a  slight 
proof  of  his  skill  that  many  of  these  portraits  in  pistol  shots  are 
considered  admirable  likenesses. 

I  happened  to  look  out  of  the  window,  and  perceiving  two  gentle- 
men advancing  rapidly  along  Baker  Street  asked  him  who  they  were. 
He  immediately  lit  his  pipe,  and,  twisting  himself  on  a  chair  into 
the  figure  8,  replied: 

"They  are  two  collaborators  in  comic  opera,  and  their  play  has 

not  been  a  triumph." 
I  sprang  from  my  chair  to  the  ceiling  in  amazement,  and  he  then 

explained: 

"My  dear  Watson,  they  are  obviously  men  who  follow  some  low 
calling.  That  much  even  you  should  be  able  to  read  in  their  faces. 
Those  little  pieces  of  blue  paper  which  they  fling  angrily  from  them 
are  Durrani's  Press  Notices.  Of  these  they  have  obviously  hundreds 
about  their  person  (see  how  their  pockets  bulge).  They  would  not 
dance  on  them  if  they  were  pleasant  reading." 

I  again  sprang  to  the  ceiling  (which  is  much  dented),  and  shouted: 
"Amazing!  But  they  may  be  mere  authors." 


THE    ADVENTURE    OF    THE    TWO    COLLABORATORS        121 

"No,"  said  Holmes,  "for  mere  authors  only  get  one  press  notice 
a  week.  Only  criminals,  dramatists  and  actors  get  them  by  the  hun- 
dred." 

"Then  they  may  be  actors." 

"No,  actors  would  come  in  a  carriage." 

"Can  you  tell  me  anything  else  about  them?" 

"A  great  deal.  From  the  mud  on  the  boots  of  the  tall  one  I  per- 
ceive that  he  comes  from  South  Norwood.  The  other  is  as  obviously 
a  Scotch  author." 

"How  can  you  tell  that?" 

"He  is  carrying  in  his  pocket  a  book  called  (I  clearly  see)  Auld 
Licht  Something.  Would  anyone  but  the  author  be  likely  to  carry 
about  a  book  with  such  a  title?" 

I  had  to  confess  that  this  was  improbable. 

It  was  now  evident  that  the  two  men  (if  such  they  can  be  called) 
were  seeking  our,  lodgings.  I  have  said  (often)  that  my  friend  Holmes 
seldom  gave  way  to  emotion  of  any  kind,  but  he  now  turned  livid 
with  passion.  Presently  this  gave  place  to  a  strange  look  of  tri- 
umph. 

"Watson,"  he  said,  "that  big  fellow  has  for  years  taken  the  credit 
for  my  most  remarkable  doings,  but  at  last  I  have  him  — at  last!" 

Up  I  went  to  the  ceiling,  and  when  I  returned  the  strangers  were 
in  the  room. 

"I  perceive,  gentlemen,"  said  Mr.  Sherlock  Holmes,  "that  you  are 
at  present  afflicted  by  an  extraordinary  novelty." 

The  handsomer  of  our  visitors  asked  in  amazement  how  he  knew 
this,  but  the  big  one  only  scowled. 

"You  forget  that  you  wear  a  ring  on  your  fourth  finger,"  replied 
Mr.  Holmes  calmly. 

I  was  about  to  jump  to  the  ceiling  when  the  big  brute  interposed. 

"That  tommy-rot  is  all  very  well  for  the  public,  Holmes,"  said  he, 
"but  you  can  drop  it  before  me.  And,  Watson,  if  you  go  up  to  the 
ceiling  again  I  shall  make  you  stay  there." 

Here  I  observed  a  curious  phenomenon.  My  friend  Sherlock 
Holmes  shranf(.  He  became  small  before  my  eyes.  I  looked  longingly 
at  the  ceiling,  but  dared  not. 

"Let  us  cut  the  first  four  pages,"  said  the  big  man,  "and  proceed 
to  business.  I  want  to  know  why  —  " 


122      THE    ADVENTURE    OF    THE"    TWO    COLLABORATORS 

"Allow  me,"  said  Mr.  Holmes,  with  some  of  his  old  courage.  "You 
want  to  know  why  the  public  does  not  go  to  your  opera." 

"Exactly,"  said  the  other  ironically,  "as  you  perceive  by  my  shirt 
stud."  He  added  more  gravely,  "And  as  you  can  only  find  out  in 
one  way  I  must  insist  on  your  witnessing  an  entire  performance  of 
the  piece." 

It  was  an  anxious  moment  for  me.  I  shuddered,  for  I  knew  that  if 
Holmes  went  I  should  have  to  go  with  him.  But  my  friend  had  a 
heart  of  gold. 

"Never,"  he  cried  fiercely,  "I  will  do  anything  for  you  save  that." 

"Your  continued  existence  depends  on  it,"  said  the  big  man  menac- 
ingly. 

"I  would  rather  melt  into  air,"  replied  Holmes,  proudly  taking 
another  chair.  "But  I  can  tell  you  why  the  public  don't  go  to  your 
piece  without  sitting  the  thing  out  myself." 

"Why?" 

"Because,"  replied  Holmes  calmly,  "they  prefer  to  stay  away." 

A  dead  silence  followed  that  extraordinary  remark.  For  a  moment 
the  two  intruders  gazed  with  awe  upon  the  man  who  had  unravelled 
their  mystery  so  wonderfully.  Then  drawing  their  knives  — 

Holmes  grew  less  and  less,  until  nothing  was  left  save  a  ring  of 
smoke  which  slowly  circled  to  the  ceiling. 

The  last  words  of  great  men  are  often  noteworthy.  These  were  the 
last  words  of  Sherlock  Holmes:  "Fool,  fool!  I  have  kept  you  in 
luxury  for  years.  By  my  help  you  have  ridden  extensively  in  cabs, 
where  no  author  was  ever  seen  before.  Henceforth  you  mil  ride  in 
buses!" 

The  brute  sunk  into  a  chair  aghast. 

The  other  author  did  not  turn  a  hair. 

To  A.  Conan  Doyle, 

from  his  friend 
J.  M.  Barrie 


Detective:  SHERLOCK  HOLMES 


A   DOUBLE-BARRELLED 
DETECTIVE   STORY 

by  MARK  TWAIN 


It's  amazing  how  often  stories  by  Mar\  Twain,  despite  his 
Brobdingnagian  reputation  as  a  humorist,  have  been  ta^en  seri- 
ously. Mar\  Twain  was  responsible  for  some  of  the  funniest 
literary  hoaxes  ever  foisted  on  an  unsuspecting  public. 

Consider  his  story  of  the  Petrified  Man  of  Gravelly  Ford. 
In  the  original  journalistic  squib  he  started  out  by  describing 
the  scene  in  "patient  belief-compelling  detail"  —  the  impressive 
solitude,  the  majesty  of  the  figure,  and  so  on.  Quite  casually  he 
mentioned  that  the  thumb  of  the  Petrified  Man's  right  hand 
rested  "against  the  side  of  his  nose"  Then  after  more  serious 
description,  he  observed  that  "the  fingers  of  the  right  hand  were 
spread  apart."  More  dignified  exposition,  then  the  incidental 
remart^  that  "the  thumb  of  the  left  hand  was  hooked  into  the 
little  finger  of  the  right."  Still  more  rambling  about  something 
else  and  by  and  by  MarJ^  Twain  drifted  bacJ^  and  commented 
that  "the  fingers  of  the  left  hand  were  spread  out  lit(e  those  of 
the  right." 

It  was  so  cleverly  written  that  the  great  majority  of  readers 
completely  missed  the  point  (no  pun  intended);  in  fact,  many 
people  believed  the  hoax  with  such  credulity  that  they  actually 
looked  for  the  Petrified  Man  in  the  region  where  Mart^  Twain, 
as  a  Nevada  newspaper  editor,  claimed  to  have  located  it.  Even- 
tually it  was  "exalted  to  the  grand  chief  place  in  the  list  of 
genuine  marvels  Nevada  had  produced" 

In  the  same  way  Mar\  Twain's  "A  Double -Ear  relied  Detec- 
tive Story"  has  been  judged  from  much  too  serious  a  critical 
viewpoint.  The  simple  truth  is  that  this  story  was  intended  as 
an  elaborate  burlesque  of  detective  fiction  —  that  and  no  more. 
Of  course  some  of  the  melodramatic  passages  are  written  so 


124  A    DOUBLE-BARRELLED    DETECTIVE    STORY 

dead-pan  that  it  is  difficult  for  the  naive  to  detect  the  deception 
—  a  jo\e  that  always  tickled  Mar/^  Twain  hugely. 

But  now  that  you  have  been  tipped  off,  you  will  enjoy  with 
even  greater  relish  such  scenes  as  Sherloc^  Holmes  being 
watched  in  the  process  of  thinking  —  the  special  Sherlocfyan 
private  brand  of  thinking,  of  course.  Mar\  Twain's  treatment 
is  admittedly  broad  —  but  all  the  funnier  when  you  realize 
that  this  is  "gorjus"  tongue-in-cheet^  tomfoolery. 

SherlocJ^  Holmes,  affectionately  called  the  "Extraordinary 
Man,"  makes  his  appearance  in  this  slightly  condensed  version 
of  "A  Double-Barrelled  Detective  Story"  just  before  the  halfway 
mar\.  His  true  role  in  the  murder  investigation  and  in  the 
events  leading  up  to  the  tragedy  is  —  to  say  the  least  —  ex- 
traordinary. 


T  CHAPTER  I 

IE  FIRST  scene  is  in  the  country,  in  Virginia;  the  time,  1880. 
There  has  been  a  wedding,  between  a  handsome  young  man  of 
slender  means  and  a  rich  young  girl  —  a  case  of  love  at  first  sight 
and  a  precipitate  marriage;  a  marriage  bitterly  opposed  by  the  girl's 
widowed  father. 

Jacob  Fuller,  the  bridegroom,  is  twenty-six  years  old,  is  of  an  old 
but  unconsidered  family  which  had  by  compulsion  emigrated  from 
Sedgemoor,  and  for  King  James's  purse's  profit,  so  everybody  said 
—  some  maliciously,  the  rest  merely  because  they  believed  it.  The 
bride  is  nineteen  and  beautiful.  She  is  intense,  high-strung,  romantic, 
immeasurably  proud  of  her  Cavalier  blood,  and  passionate  in  her 
love  for  her  young  husband.  For  its  sake  she  braved  her  father's  dis- 
pleasure, endured  his  reproaches,  listened  with  loyalty  unshaken  to 
his  warning  predictions,  and  went  from  his  house  without  his  bless- 
ing, proud  and  happy  in  the  proofs  she  was  thus  giving  of  the  quality 
of  the  affection  which  had  made  its  home  in  her  heart. 

The  morning  after  the  marriage  there  was  a  sad  surprise  for  her. 
Her  husband  put  aside  her  proffered  caresses,  and  said: 

"Sit  down.  I  have  something  to  say  to  you.  I  loved  you.  That  was 


A    DOUBLE-BARRELLED    DETECTIVE    STORY  125 

before  I  asked  your  father  to  give  you  to  me.  His  refusal  is  not  my 
grievance  —  I  could  have  endured  that.  But  the  things  he  said  of  me 
to  you  — that  is  a  different  matter.  There  — you  needn't  speak;  I 
know  quite  well  what  they  were;  I  got  them  from  authentic  sources. 
Among  other  things  he  said  that  my  character  was  written  in  my 
face;  that  I  was  treacherous,  a  dissembler,  a  coward,  and  a  brute 
without  sense  of  pity  or  compassion:  the  'Sedgemoor  trade-mark,' 
he  called  it  —  and  'white-sleeve  badge.'  Any  other  man  in  my  place 
would  have  gone  to  his  house  and  shot  him  down  like  a  dog.  I  wanted 
to  do  it,  and  was  minded  to  do  it,  but  a  better  thought  came  to  me : 
to  put  him  to  shame;  to  break  his  heart;  to  kill  him  by  inches.  How 
to  do  it?  Through  my  treatment  of  you,  his  idol!  I  would  marry  you; 
and  then  —  Have  patience.  You  will  see." 

From  that  moment  onward,  for  three  months,  the  young  wife 
suffered  all  the  humiliations,  all  the  insults,  all  the  miseries  that  the 
diligent  and  inventive  mind  of  the  husband  could  contrive,  save 
physical  injuries  only.  Her  strong  pride  stood  by  her,  and  she  kept 
the  secret  of  her  troubles.  Now  and  then  the  husband  said,  "Why 
don't  you  go  to  your  father  and  tell  him?"  Then  he  invented  new 
tortures,  applied  them,  and  asked  again.  She  always  answered,  "He 
shall  never  know  by  my  mouth,"  and  taunted  him  with  his  origin; 
said  she  was  the  lawful  slave  of  a  scion  of  slaves,  and  must  obey, 
and  would  —  up  to  that  point,  but  no  further;  he  could  kill  her  if 
he  liked,  but  he  could  not  break  her;  it  was  not  in  the  Sedgemoor 
breed  to  do  it.  At  the  end  of  the  three  months  he  said,  with  a  dark 
significance  in  his  manner,  "I  have  tried  all  things  but  one"  —  and 
waited  for  her  reply.  "Try  that,"  she  said,  and  curled  her  lip  in 
mockery. 

That  night  he  rose  at  midnight  and  put  on  his  clothes,  then  said 
to  her: 

"Get  up  and  dress!" 

She  obeyed  —  as  always,  without  a  word.  He  led  her  half  a  mile 
from  the  house,  and  proceeded  to  lash  her  to  a  tree  by  the  side  of 
the  public  road;  and  succeeded,  she  screaming  and  struggling.  He 
gagged  her  then,  struck  her  across  the  face  with  his  cowhide,  and 
set  his  bloodhounds  on  her.  They  tore  the  clothes  off  her,  and  she 
was  naked.  He  called  the  dogs  off,  and  said: 


126  A    DOUBLE-BARRELLED    DETECTIVE    STORY 

"You  will  be  found  —  by  the  passing  public.  They  will  be  dropping 
along  about  three  hours  from  now,  and  will  spread  the  news  — do 
you  hear  ?  Good-by.  You  have  seen  die  last  of  me." 
He  went  away  then.  She  moaned  to  herself: 
"I  shall  bear  a  child  —  to  him!  God  grant  it  may  be  a  boy!" 
The  farmers  released  her  by  and  by  —  and  spread  the  news,  which 
was  natural.  They  raised  the  country  with  lynching  intentions,  but 
the  bird  had  flown.  The  young  wife  shut  herself  up  in  her  father's 
house;  he  shut  himself  up  with  her,  and  thenceforth  would  see  no 
one.  His  pride  was  broken,  and  his  heart;  so  he  wasted  away,  day 
by  day,  and  even  his  daughter  rejoiced  when  death  relieved  him. 
Then  she  sold  the  estate  and  disappeared. 

CHAPTER  II 

In  1886  a  young  woman  was  living  in  a  modest  house  near  a  se- 
cluded New  England  village,  with  no  company  but  a  little  boy  about 
five  years  old.  She  did  her  own  work,  she  discouraged  acquaintance- 
ships, and  had  none.  The  butcher,  the  baker,  and  die  others  who 
served  her  could  tell  the  villagers  nothing  about  her  further  than 
that  her  name  was  Stillman,  and  that  she  called  the  child  Archy. 
Whence  she  came  they  had  not  been  able  to  find  out,  but  they  said 
she  talked  like  a  Southerner.  The  child  had  no  playmates  and  no 
comrade,  and  no  teacher  but  the  mother.  She  taught  him  diligently 
and  intelligently,  and  was  satisfied  with  the  results  —  even  a  little 
proud  of  them.  One  day  Archy  said: 

"Mamma,  am  I  different  from  other  children?" 

"Well,  I  suppose  not.  Why?" 

"There  was  a  child  going  along  out  there  and  asked  me  if  the 
postman  had  been  by  and  I  said  yes,  and  she  said  how  long  since 
I  saw  him  and  I  said  I  hadn't  seen  him  at  all,  and  she  said  how  did 
I  know  he'd  been  by,  then,  and  I  said  because  I  smelt  his  track  on 
the  sidewalk,  and  she  said  I  was  a  dum  fool  and  made  a  mouth  at 
me.  What  did  she  do  that  for?" 

The  young  woman  turned  white,  and  said  to  herself,  "It's  a  birth- 
mark! The  gift  of  the  bloodhound  is  in  him."  She  snatched  the  boy 
to  her  breast  and  hugged  him  passionately,  saying,  "God  has  ap- 
pointed the  way!"  Her  eyes  were  burning  with  a  fierce  light,  and 
her  breath  came  short  and  quick  with  excitement.  She  said  to  her- 


A    DOUBLE-BARRELLED    DETECTIVE    STORY  127 

self:  "The  puzzle  is  solved  now;  many  a  time  it  has  been  a  mystery 
to  me,  the  impossible  things  the  child  has  done  in  the  dark,  but  it 
is  all  clear  to  me  now." 

She  set  him  in  his  small  chair,  and  said: 

"Wait  a  little  till  I  come,  dear;  then  we  will  talk  about  the  matter." 

She  went  up  to  her  room  and  took  from  her  dressing  table  several 
small  articles  and  put  them  out  of  sight:  a  nail  file  on  the  floor 
under  the  bed;  a  pair  of  nail  scissors  under  the  bureau;  a  small  ivory 
paper  knife  under  the  wardrobe.  Then  she  returned,  and  said: 

"There!  I  have  left  some  things  which  I  ought  to  have  brought 
down."  She  named  them,  and  said,  "Run  up  and  bring  them,  dear." 

The  child  hurried  away  on  his  errand  and  was  soon  back  again 
with  the  things. 

"Did  you  have  any  difficulty,  dear?" 

"No,  Mamma;  I  only  went  where  you  went." 

During  his  absence  she  had  stepped  to  the  bookcase,  taken  several 
books  from  the  bottom  shelf,  opened  each,  passed  her  hand  over  a 
page,  noting  its  number  in  her  memory,  then  restored  them  to  their 
places.  Now  she  said: 

"I  have  been  doing  something  while  you  have  been  gone,  Archy. 
Do  you  think  you  can  find  out  what  it  was?" 

The  boy  went  to  the  bookcase  and  got  out  the  books  that  had 
been  touched,  and  opened  them  at  the  pages  which  had  been  stroked. 

The  mother  took  him  in  her  lap,  and  said : 

"I  will  answer  your  question  now,  dear.  I  have  found  out  that  in 
one  way  you  are  quite  different  from  other  people.  You  can  see  in 
the  dark,  you  can  smell  what  other  people  cannot,  you  have  the 
talents  of  a  bloodhound.  They  are  good  and  valuable  things  to  have, 
but  you  must  keep  the  matter  a  secret.  If  people  found  it  out,  they 
would  speak  of  you  as  an  odd  child,  a  strange  child,  and  children 
would  be  disagreeable  to  you,  and  give  you  nicknames.  In  this  world 
one  must  be  like  everybody  else  if  he  doesn't  want  to  provoke  scorn 
or  envy  or  jealousy.  It  is  a  great  and  fine  distinction  which  has  been 
born  to  you,  and  I  am  glad;  but  you  will  keep  it  a  secret,  for  Mamma's 
sake,  won't  you?" 

The  child  promised,  without  understanding. 
All  the  rest  of  the  day  the  mother's  brain  was  busy  with  excited 
thinkings;  with  plans,  projects,  schemes,  each  and  all  of  them  un- 


128  A    DOUBLE-BARRELLED    DETECTIVE    STORY 

canny,  grim,  and  dark.  Yet  they  lit  up  her  face;  lit  it  with  a  fell  light 
of  their  own;  lit  it  with  vague  fires  of  hell.  She  was  in  a  fever  of  un- 
rest; she  could  not  sit,  stand,  read,  sew;  there  was  no  relief  for  her 
but  in  movement.  She  tested  her  boy's  gift  in  twenty  ways,  and  kept 
saying  to  herself  all  the  time,  with  her  mind  in  the  past:  "He  broke 
my  father's  heart,  and  night  and  day  all  these  years  I  have  tried, 
and  all  in  vain,  to  think  out  a  way  to  break  his.  I  have  found  it  now 
—  I  have  found  it  now." 

When  night  fell,  the  demon  of  unrest  still  possessed  her.  She  went 
on  with  her  tests;  with  a  candle  she  traversed  the  house  from  garret 
to  cellar,  hiding  pins,  needles,  thimbles,  spools,  under  pillows,  under 
carpets,  in  cracks  in  the  walls,  under  the  coal  in  the  bin;  then  sent 
the  little  fellow  in  the  dark  to  find  them;  which  he  did,  and  was 
happy  and  proud  when  she  praised  him  and  smothered  him  with 
caresses. 

From  this  time  forward  life  took  on  a  new  complexion  for  her. 
She  said,  "The  future  is  secure  —  I  can  wait,  and  enjoy  the  waiting." 
The  most  of  her  lost  interests  revived.  She  took  up  music  again,  and 
languages,  drawing,  painting,  and  the  other  long-discarded  delights 
of  her  maidenhood.  She  was  happy  once  more,  and  felt  again  the 
zest  of  life.  As  the  years  drifted  by  she  watched  the  development  of 
her  boy,  and  was  contented  with  it.  Not  altogether,  but  nearly  that. 
The  soft  side  of  his  heart  was  larger  than  the  other  side  of  it.  It  was 
his  only  defect,  in  her  eyes.  But  she  considered  that  his  love  for  her 
and  worship  of  her  made  up  for  it.  He  was  a  good  hater  —  that 
was  well;  but  it  was  a  question  if  the  materials  of  his  hatreds  were 
of  as  tough  and  enduring  a  quality  as  those  of  his  friendships  —  and 
that  was  not  so  well. 

The  years  drifted  on.  Archy  was  become  a  handsome,  shapely, 
athletic  youth,  courteous,  dignified,  companionable,  pleasant  in  his 
ways,  and  looking  perhaps  a  trifle  older  than  he  was,  which  was  six- 
teen. One  evening  his  mother  said  she  had  something  of  grave  im- 
portance to  say  to  him,  adding  that  he  was  old  enough  to  hear  it 
now,  and  old  enough  and  possessed  of  character  enough  and  stability 
enough  to  carry  out  a  stern  plan  which  she  had  been  for  years  con- 
triving and  maturing.  Then  she  told  him  her  bitter  story,  in  all  its 
naked  atrociousness.  For  a  while  the  boy  was  paralyzed;  then  he 
said: 


A    DOUBLE-BARRELLED    DETECTIVE    STORY  129 

"I  understand.  We  are  Southerners;  and  by  our  custom  and  nature 
here  is  but  one  atonement.  I  will  search  him  out  and  kill  him." 

"Kill  him?  No!  Death  is  release,  emancipation;  death  is  a  favor. 
Do  I  owe  him  favors?  You  must  not  hurt  a  hair  of  his  head." 

The  boy  was  lost  in  thought  awhile;  then  he  said: 

"You  are  all  the  world  to  me,  and  your  desire  is  my  law  and  my 
Dleasure.  Tell  me  what  to  do  and  I  will  do  it." 

The  mother's  eyes  beamed  with  satisfaction,  and  she  said: 

"You  will  go  and  find  him.  I  have  known  his  hiding  place  for 
eleven  years;  it  cost  me  five  years  and  more  of  inquiry,  and  much 
noney,  to  locate  it.  He  is  a  quartz  miner  in  Colorado,  and  well-to-do. 
He  lives  in  Denver.  His  name  is  Jacob  Fuller.  There  — it  is  the 
irst  time  I  have  spoken  it  since  that  unforgettable  night.  Think! 
That  name  could  have  been  yours  if  I  had  not  saved  you  that  shame 
md  furnished  you  a  cleaner  one.  You  will  drive  him  from  that  place; 
you  will  hunt  him  down  and  drive  him  again;  and  yet  again,  and 
again,  and  again,  persistently,  relentlessly,  poisoning  his  life,  filling 
it  with  mysterious  terrors,  loading  it  with  weariness  and  misery, 
making  him  wish  for  death,  and  that  he  had  a  suicide's  courage; 
you  will  make  of  him  another  Wandering  Jew;  he  shall  know  no 
rest  any  more,  no  peace  of  mind,  no  placid  sleep;  you  shall  shadow 
him,  cling  to  him,  persecute  him,  till  you  break  his  heart,  as  he  broke 
my  father's  and  mine." 

"I  will  obey,  Mother." 

"I  believe  it,  my  child.  The  preparations  are  all  made;  everything 
is  ready.  Here  is  a  letter  of  credit;  spend  freely,  there  is  no  lack  of 
money.  At  times  you  may  need  disguises.  I  have  provided  them; 
also  some  other  conveniences."  She  took  from  the  drawer  of  the 
typewriter  table  several  squares  of  paper.  They  all  bore  these  type- 
written words: 

$10,000  REWARD 

It  is  believed  that  a  certain  man  who  is  wanted  in  an  eastern  state 
is  sojourning  here.  In  1880,  in  the  night,  he  tied  his  young  wife  to 
a  tree  by  the  public  road,  cut  her  across  the  face  with  a  cowhide,  and 
made  his  dogs  tear  her  clothes  from  her,  leaving  her  naked.  He 
left  her  there,  and  fled  the  country.  A  blood  relative  of  hers  has 

searched  for  him  for  seventeen  years.  Address , > 

Post  office.  The  above  reward  will  be  paid  in  cash  to  the  person  who 


I3O  A    DOUBLE-BARRELLED    DETECTIVE    STORY 

will  furnish  the  seeker,  in  a  personal  interview,  the  criminal's  ad- 
dress. 

"When  you  have  found  him  and  acquainted  yourself  with  his 
scent,  you  will  go  in  the  night  and  placard  one  of  these  upon  the 
building  he  occupies,  and  another  one  upon  the  post  office  or  in  some 
other  prominent  place.  It  will  be  the  talk  of  the  region.  At  first  you 
must  give  him  several  days  in  which  to  force  a  sale  of  his  belongings 
at  something  approaching  their  value.  We  will  ruin  him  by  and  by, 
but  gradually;  we  must  not  impoverish  him  at  once,  for  that  could 
bring  him  to  despair  and  injure  his  health,  possibly  kill  him." 

She  took  three  or  four  more  typewritten  forms  from  the  drawer  — 
duplicates  —  and  read  one: 

, ,  18    . 

To  Jacob  Fuller: 

You  have days  in  which  to  settle  your  affairs.  You  will  not 

be  disturbed  during  that  limit,  which  will  expire  at M.,  on 

the of You  must  then  MOVE  ON.  If  you  are  still  in 

the  place  after  the  named  hour,  I  will  placard  you  on  all  the  dead 
walls,  detailing  your  crime  once  more,  and  adding  the  date,  also  the 
scene  of  it,  with  all  names  concerned,  including  your  own.  Have  no 
fear  of  bodily  injury  —  it  will  in  no  circumstances  ever  be  inflicted 
upon  you.  You  brought  misery  upon  an  old  man,  and  ruined  his  life 
and  broke  his  heart.  What  he  suffered,  you  are  to  suffer. 

"You  will  add  no  signature.  He  must  receive  this  before  he  learns 
of  the  reward  placard  —  before  he  rises  in  the  morning  —  lest  he 
lose  his  head  and  fly  the  place  penniless." 

"I  shall  not  forget." 

"You  will  need  to  use  these  forms  only  in  the  beginning  —  once 
may  be  enough.  Afterward,  when  you  are  ready  for  him  to  vanish 
out  of  a  place,  see  that  he  gets  a  copy  of  this  form,  which  merely 
says: 

MOVE  ON.  You  have . .  days. 

"He  will  obey.  That  is  sure." 

CHAPTER  III 
Extracts  from  letters  to  the  mother : 


A    DOUBLE-BARRELLED    DETECTIVE    STORY 

DENVER,  April  3,  1897 

I  have  now  been  living  several  days  in  the  same  hotel  with  Jacob 
Fuller.  I  have  his  scent;  I  could  track  him  through  ten  divisions  of 
infantry  and  find  him.  I  have  often  been  near  him  and  heard  him 
talk.  He  owns  a  good  mine,  and  has  a  fair  income  from  it;  but  he  is 
not  rich.  He  learned  mining  in  a  good  way  —  by  working  at  it  for 
wages.  He  is  a  cheerful  creature,  and  his  forty-three  years  sit  lightly 
upon  him;  he  could  pass  for  a  younger  man  —  say  thirty-six  or  thirty- 
seven.  He  has  never  married  again  —  passes  himself  off  for  a  wid- 
ower. He  stands  well,  is  liked,  is  popular,  and  has  many  friends. 
Even  I  feel  a  drawing  toward  him  —  the  paternal  blood  in  me  mak- 
ing its  claim.  How  blind  and  unreasoning  and  arbitrary  are  some  of 
the  laws  of  nature  —  the  most  of  them,  in  fact!  My  task  is  become 
hard  now  —  you  realize  it?  you  comprehend,  and  make  allowances? 
—  and  the  fire  of  it  has  cooled,  more  than  I  like  to  confess  to  myself. 
But  I  will  carry  it  out.  Even  with  the  pleasure  paled,  the  duty  re- 
mains, and  I  will  not  spare  him. 

And  for  my  help,  a  sharp  resentment  rises  in  me  when  I  reflect 
that  he  who  committed  that  odious  crime  is  the  only  one  who  has 
not  suffered  by  it.  The  lesson  of  it  has  manifesdy  reformed  his  char- 
acter, and  in  the  change  he  is  happy.  He,  the  guilty  party,  is  ab- 
solved from  all  suffering;  you,  the  innocent,  are  borne  down  with  it. 
But  be  comforted  —  he  shall  harvest  his  share. 

SILVER  GULCH,  May  19 

I  placarded  Form  No.  i  at  midnight  of  April  3;  an  hour  later  I 
slipped  Form  No.  2  under  his  chamber  door,  notifying  him  to  leave 
Denver  at  or  before  11.50  the  night  of  the  i4th. 

Some  late  bird  of  a  reporter  stole  one  of  my  placards,  then  hunted 
the  town  over  and  found  the  other  one,  and  stole  that.  In  this  man- 
ner he  accomplished  what  the  profession  call  a  "scoop"  —  that  is, 
he  got  a  valuable  item,  and  saw  to  it  that  no  other  paper  got  it.  And 
so  his  paper  —  the  principal  one  in  the  town  —  had  it  in  glaring 
type  on  the  editorial  page  in  the  morning,  followed  by  a  Vesuvian 
opinion  of  our  wretch  a  column  long,  which  wound  up  by  adding 
a  thousand  dollars  to  our  reward  on  the  paper's  account!  The  journals 
out  here  know  how  to  do  the  noble  thing  —  when  there's  business 
in  it. 

At  breakfast  I  occupied  my  usual  seat  —  selected  because  it  af- 
forded a  view  of  Papa  Fuller's  face,  and  was  near  enough  for  me  to 
hear  the  talk  that  went  on  at  his  table.  Seventy-five  or  a  hundred 
people  were  in  the  room,  and  all  discussing  that  item,  and  saying 


132  A    DOUBLE-BARRELLTED    DETECTIVE    STORY 

they  hoped  the  seeker  would  find  that  rascal  and  remove  the  pollu- 
tion of  his  presence  from  the  town  —  with  a  rail,  or  a  bullet,  or  some- 
thing. 

When  Fuller  came  in  he  had  the  Notice  to  Leave  —  folded  up  — 
in  one  hand,  and  the  newspaper  in  the  other;  and  it  gave  me  more 
than  half  a  pang  to  see  him.  His  cheerfulness  was  all  gone,  and  he 
looked  old  and  pinched  and  ashy.  And  then  —  only  think  of  the 
things  he  had  to  listen  to!  Mamma,  he  heard  his  own  unsuspecting 
friends  describe  him  with  epithets  and  characterizations  drawn  from 
the  very  dictionaries  and  phrase  books  of  Satan's  own  authorized 
editions  down  below.  And  more  than  that,  he  had  to  agree  with  the 
verdicts  and  applaud  them.  His  applause  tasted  bitter  in  his  mouth, 
though;  he  could  not  disguise  that  from  me;  and  it  was  observable 
that  his  appetite  was  gone;  he  only  nibbled;  he  couldn't  eat.  Finally 
a  man  said: 

"It  is  quite  likely  that  that  relative  is  in  the  room  and  hearing 
what  this  town  thinks  of  that  unspeakable  scoundrel.  I  hope  so." 

Ah,  dear,  it  was  pitiful  the  way  Fuller  winced,  and  glanced  around 
scared!  He  couldn't  endure  any  more,  and  got  up  and  left. 

During  several  days  he  gave  out  that  he  had  bought  a  mine  in 
Mexico,  and  wanted  to  sell  out  and  go  down  there  as  soon  as  he 
could,  and  give  the  property  his  personal  attention.  He  played  his 
cards  well;  said  he  would  take  $40,000  —  a  quarter  in  cash,  the  rest 
in  safe  notes;  but  that  as  he  greatly  needed  money  on  account  of  his 
new  purchase,  he  would  diminish  his  terms  for  cash  in  full.  He  sold 
out  for  $30,000.  And  then,  what  do  you  think  he  did  ?  He  asked  for 
greenbacks,  and  took  them,  saying  the  man  in  Mexico  was  a  New 
Englander,  with  a  head  full  of  crotchets,  and  preferred  greenbacks 
to  gold  or  drafts.  People  thought  it  queer,  since  a  draft  on  New  York 
could  produce  greenbacks  quite  conveniently.  There  was  talk  of 
this  odd  thing,  but  only  for  a  day;  that  is  as  long  as  any  topic  lasts 
in  Denver. 

I  was  watching,  all  the  time.  As  soon  as  the  sale  was  completed 
and  the  money  paid  —  which  was  on  the  nth  —  I  began  to  stick 
to  Fuller's  track  without  dropping  it  for  a  moment.  That  night  — 
no,  1 2th,  for  it  was  a  little  past  midnight  —  I  tracked  him  to  his 
room,  which  was  four  doors  from  mine  in  the  same  hall;  then  I 
went  back  and  put  on  my  muddy  day-laborer  disguise,  darkened  my 
complexion,  and  sat  down  in  my  room  in  the  gloom,  with  a  grip- 
sack handy,  with  a  change  in  it,  and  my  door  ajar.  For  I  suspected 
that  the  bird  would  take  wing  now.  In  half  an  hour  an  old  woman 
passed  by,  carrying  a  grip:  I  caught  the  familiar  whiff,  and  followed 


A    DOUBLE-BARRELLED    DETECTIVE    STORY  133 

with  my  grip,  for  it  was  Fuller.  He  left  the  hotel  by  a  side  entrance, 
and  at  the  corner  he  turned  up  an  unfrequented  street  and  walked 
three  blocks  in  a  light  rain  and  a  heavy  darkness,  and  got  into  a  two- 
horse  hack,  which  of  course  was  waiting  for  him  by  appointment.  I 
took  a  seat  (uninvited)  on  the  trunk  platform  behind,  and  we  drove 
briskly  off.  We  drove  ten  miles,  and  the  hack  stopped  at  a  way  sta- 
tion and  was  discharged.  Fuller  got  out  and  took  a  seat  on  a  barrow 
under  the  awning,  as  far  as  he  could  get  from  the  light;  I  went  in- 
side, and  watched  the  ticket  office.  Fuller  bought  no  ticket;  I  bought 
none.  Presently  the  train  came  along,  and  he  boarded  a  car;  I  entered 
the  same  car  at  the  other  end,  and  came  down  the  aisle  and  took 
the  seat  behind  him.  When  he  paid  the  conductor  and  named  his 
objective  point,  I  dropped  back  several  seats,  while  the  conductor  was 
changing  a  bill,  and  when  he  came  to  me  I  paid  to  the  same  place  — 
about  a  hundred  miles  westward. 

From  that  time  for  a  week  on  end  he  led  me  a  dance.  He  traveled 
here  and  there  and  yonder  —  always  on  a  general  westward  trend 
—  but  he  was  not  a  woman  after  the  first  day.  He  was  a  laborer,  like 
myself,  and  wore  bushy  false  whiskers.  His  outfit  was  perfect,  and 
he  could  do  the  character  without  thinking  about  it,  for  he  had 
served  the  trade  for  wages.  His  nearest  friend  could  not  have  recog- 
nized him.  At  last  he  located  himself  here,  the  obscurest  little  moun- 
tain camp  in  Montana;  he  has  a  shanty,  and  goes  out  prospecting 
daily;  is  gone  all  day,  and  avoids  society.  I  am  living  at  a  miner's 
boardinghouse,  and  it  is  an  awful  place:  the  bunks,  the  food,  the 
dirt  —  everything. 

We  have  been  here  four  weeks,  and  in  that  time  I  have  seen  him 
but  once;  but  every  night  I  go  over  his  track  and  post  myself.  As 
soon  as  he  engaged  a  shanty  here  I  went  to  a  town  fifty  miles  away 
and  telegraphed  that  Denver  hotel  to  keep  my  baggage  till  I  should 
send  for  it.  I  need  nothing  here  but  a  change  of  army  shirts,  and  I 
brought  that  with  me. 

SILVER  GULCH,  June  12 

The  Denver  episode  has  never  found  its  way  here,  I  think.  I  know 
the  most  of  the  men  in  camp,  and  they  have  never  referred  to  it,  at 
least  in  my  hearing.  Fuller  doubtless  feels  quite  safe  in  these  condi- 
tions. He  has  located  a  claim,  two  miles  away,  in  an  out-of-the-way 
place  in  the  mountains;  it  promises  very  well,  and  he  is  working  it 
diligently.  Ah,  but  the  change  in  him!  He  never  smiles,  and  he  keeps 
quite  to  himself,  consorting  with  no  one  —  he  who  was  so  fond  of 
company  and  so  cheery  only  two  months  ago.  I  have  seen  him  pass- 


134  A    DOUBLE-BARRELLED    DETECTIVE    STORY 

ing  along  several  times  recently  —  drooping,  forlorn,  the  spring  gone 
from  his  step,  a  pathetic  figure.  He  calls  himself  David  Wilson. 

I  can  trust  him  to  remain  here  until  we  disturb  him.  Since  you  in- 
sist, I  will  banish  him  again,  but  I  do  not  see  how  he  can  be  unhappier 
than  he  already  is.  I  will  go  back  to  Denver  and  treat  myself  to  a 
little  season  of  comfort,  and  edible  food,  and  endurable  beds,  and 
bodily  decency;  then  I  will  fetch  my  things,  and  notify  poor  Papa 
Wilson  to  move  on. 

DENVER,  June  19 

They  miss  him  here.  They  all  hope  he  is  prospering  in  Mexico, 
and  they  do  not  say  it  just  with  their  mouths,  but  out  of  their  hearts. 
You  know  you  can  always  tell.  I  am  loitering  here  overlong,  I  con- 
fess it.  But  if  you  were  in  my  place  you  would  have  charity  for  me. 
Yes,  I  know  what  you  will  say,  and  you  are  right:  if  I  were  in  your 
place,  and  carried  your  scalding  memories  in  my  heart  — 

I  will  take  the  night  train  back  tomorrow. 

DENVER,  June  20 

God  forgive  us,  Mother,  we  are  hunting  the  wrong  man!  I  have 
not  slept  any  all  night.  I  am  now  waiting,  at  dawn,  for  the  morning 
train  —  and  how  the  minutes  drag,  how  they  drag! 

This  Jacob  Fuller  is  a  cousin  of  the  guilty  one.  How  stupid  we  have 
been  not  to  reflect  that  the  guilty  one  would  never  again  wear  his 
own  name  after  that  fiendish  deed!  The  Denver  Fuller  is  four  years 
younger  than  the  other  one;  he  came  here  a  young  widower  in  '79* 
aged  twenty-one  —  a  year  before  you  were  married;  and  the  docu- 
ments to  prove  it  are  innumerable.  Last  night  I  talked  with  familiar 
friends  of  his  who  have  known  him  from  the  day  of  his  arrival.  I 
said  nothing,  but  a  few  days  from  now  I  will  land  him  in  this  town 
again,  with  the  loss  upon  his  mine  made  good;  and  there  will  be  a 
banquet,  and  a  torchlight  procession,  and  there  will  not  be  any  ex- 
pense on  anybody  but  me.  Do  you  call  this  "gush"?  I  am  only  a 
boy,  as  you  well  know;  it  is  my  privilege.  By  and  by  I  shall  not  be 
a  boy  any  more. 

SILVER  GULCH,  July  3 

Mother,  he  is  gone!  Gone,  and  left  no  trace.  The  scent  was  cold 
when  I  came.  Today  I  am  out  of  bed  for  the  first  time  since.  I  wish 
I  were  not  a  boy;  then  I  could  stand  shocks  better.  They  all  think 
he  went  west.  I  start  tonight,  in  a  wagon  —  two  or  three  hours  of 
that,  then  I  get  a  train.  I  don't  know  where  I'm  going,  but  I  must 
go;  to  try  to  keep  still  would  be  torture. 


A    DOUBLE-BARRELLED    DETECTIVE    STORY  135 

Of  course  he  has  effaced  himself  with  a  new  name  and  a  disguise. 
This  means  that  I  may  have  to  search  the  whole  globe  to  find  him. 
Indeed  it  is  what  I  expect.  Do  you  see,  Mother?  It  is  /  that  am  the 
Wandering  Jew.  The  irony  of  it!  We  arranged  that  for  another. 

Think  of  the  difficulties!  And  there  would  be  none  if  I  only  could 
advertise  for  him.  But  if  there  is  any  way  to  do  it  that  would  not 
frighten  him,  I  have  not  been  able  to  think  it  out,  and  I  have  tried 
till  my  brains  are  addled.  "If  the  gentleman  who  lately  bought  a 
mine  in  Mexico  and  sold  one  in  Denver  will  send  his  address  to" 
(to  whom,  Mother!),  "it  will  be  explained  to  him  that  it  was  all  a 
mistake;  his  forgiveness  will  be  asked,  and  full  reparation  made  for 
a  loss  which  he  sustained  in  a  certain  matter."  Do  you  see?  He  would 
think  it  a  trap.  Well,  anyone  would.  If  I  should  say,  "It  is  now  known 
that  he  was  not  the  man  wanted,  but  another  man  —  a  man  who 
once  bore  the  same  name,  but  discarded  it  for  good  reasons"  -  would 
that  answer?  But  the  Denver  people  would  wake  up  then  and  say 
"Oho!"  and  they  would  remember  about  the  suspicious  greenbacks, 
and  say,  "Why  did  he  run  away  if  he  wasn't  the  right  man?  — it  is 
too  thin."  If  I  failed  to  find  him  he  would  be  ruined  there  —  there 
where  there  is  no  taint  upon  him  now.  You  have  a  better  head  than 
mine.  Help  me. 

I  have  one  clue,  and  only  one.  I  know  his  handwriting.  If  he  puts 
his  new  false  name  upon  a  hotel  register  and  does  not  disguise  it 
too  much,  it  will  be  valuable  to  me  if  I  ever  run  across  it. 


SAN  FRANCISCO,  June  28, 
You  already  know  how  well  I  have  searched  the  states  from  Colo- 
rado to  the  Pacific,  and  how  nearly  I  came  to  getting  him  once.  Well, 
I  have  had  another  close  miss.  It  was  here,  yesterday.  I  struck  his 
trail,  hot,  on  the  street,  and  followed  it  on  a  run  to  a  cheap  hotel. 
That  was  a  costly  mistake;  a  dog  would  have  gone  the  other  way. 
But  I  am  only  part  dog,  and  can  get  very  humanly  stupid  when  ex- 
cited. He  had  been  stopping  in  that  house  ten  days;  I  almost  know, 
now,  that  he  stops  long  nowhere,  the  past  six  or  eight  months,  but  is 
restless  and  has  to  keep  moving.  I  understand  that  feeling!  and  I 
know  what  it  is  to  feel  it.  He  still  uses  the  name  he  had  registered 
when  I  came  so  near  catching  him  nine  months  ago  —  "James 
Walker";  doubtless  the  same  he  adopted  when  he  fled  from  Silver 
Gulch.  An  unpretending  man,  and  has  small  taste  for  fancy  names. 
I  recognized  the  hand  easily,  through  its  slight  disguise.  A  square 
man,  and  not  good  at  shams  and  pretenses. 

They  said  he  was  just  gone,  on  a  journey;  left  no  address;  didn't 


136  A    DOUBLE-BARRELLED    DETECTIVE    STORY 

say  where  he  was  going;  looked  frightened  when  asked  to  leave  his 
address;  had  no  baggage  but  a  cheap  valise;  carried  it  off  on^foot  — 
a  "stingy  old  person,  and  not  much  loss  to  the  house."  "Old I"  I  sup- 
pose he  is,  now.  I  hardly  heard;  I  was  there  but  a  moment.  I  rushed 
along  his  trail,  and  it  led  me  to  a  wharf.  Mother,  the  smoke  of  the 
steamer  he  had  taken  was  just  fading  out  on  the  horizon!  I  should 
have  saved  half  an  hour  if  I  had  gone  in  the  right  direction  at  first. 
I  could  have  taken  a  fast  tug,  and  should  have  stood  a  chance  of 
catching  that  vessel.  She  is  bound  for  Melbourne. 

HOPE  CANON,  CALIFORNIA,  October  3,  1900 

You  have  a  right  to  complain.  "A  letter  a  year"  is  a  paucity;  I 
freely  acknowledge  it;  but  how  can  one  write  when  there  is  nothing 
to  write  about  but  failures?  No  one  can  keep  it  up;  it  breaks  the  heart. 

I  told  you  —  it  seems  ages  ago,  now  —  how  I  missed  him  at  Mel- 
bourne, and  then  chased  him  all  over  Australasia  for  months  on  end. 

Well,  then,  after  that  I  followed  him  to  India;  almost  saw  him  in 
Bombay;  traced  him  all  around  —  to  Baroda,  Rawal-Pindi,  Luck- 
now,  Lahore,  Cawnpore,  Allahabad,  Calcutta,  Madras  — oh,  every- 
where; week  after  week,  month  after  month,  through  the  dust  and 
swelter  —  always  approximately  on  his  track,  sometimes  close  upon 
him,  yet  never  catching  him.  And  down  to  Ceylon,  and  then  to  — 
Never  mind;  by  and  by  I  will  write  it  all  out. 

I  chased  him  home  to  California,  and  down  to  Mexico,  and  back 
again  to  California.  Since  then  I  have  been  hunting  him  about  the 
state  from  the  first  of  last  January  down  to  a  month  ago.  I  feel  al- 
most sure  he  is  not  far  from  Hope  Canon;  I  traced  him  to  a  point 
thirty  miles  from  here,  but  there  I  lost  the  trail;  someone  gave  him  a 
lift  in  a  wagon,  I  suppose. 

I  am  taking  a  rest,  now  —  modified  by  searchings  for  the  lost  trail. 
I  was  tired  to  death,  Mother,  and  low-spirited,  and  sometimes  com- 
ing uncomfortably  near  to  losing  hope;  but  the  miners  in  this  little 
camp  are  good  fellows,  and  I  am  used  to  their  sort  this  long  time 
back;  and  their  breezy  ways  freshen  a  person  up  and  make  him  for- 
get his  troubles.  I  have  been  here  a  month.  I  am  cabining  with  a 
young  fellow  named  "Sammy"  Hillyer,  about  twenty-five,  the  only 
son  of  his  mother  — like  me  — and  loves. her  dearly,  and  writes  to 
her  every  week  —  part  of  which  is  like  me.  He  is  a  timid  body,  and  in 
the  matter  of  intellect  —  well,  he  cannot  be  depended  upon  to  set  a 
river  on  fire;  but  no  matter,  he  is  well  liked;  he  is  good  and  fine, 
and  it  is  meat  and  bread  and  rest  and  luxury  to  sit  and  talk  with 
him  and  have  a  comradeship  again.  I  wish  "James  Walker"  could 


A    DOUBLE-BARRELLED    DETECTIVE    STORY  137 

have  it.  He  had  friends;  he  liked  company.  That  brings  up  that  pic- 
ture of  him,  the  time  that  I  saw  him  last.  The  pathos  of  it!  It  comes 
before  me  often  and  often.  At  that  very  time,  poor  thing,  I  was  gird- 
ing up  my  conscience  to  make  him  move  on  again! 

Hillyer's  heart  is  better  than  mine,  better  than  anybody's  in  the 
community,  I  suppose,  for  he  is  the  one  friend  of  the  black  sheep  of 
the  camp  —  Flint  Buckner  —  and  the  only  man  Flint  ever  talks  with 
or  allows  to  talk  with  him.  He  says  he  knows  Flint's  history,  and  that 
it  is  trouble  that  has  made  him  what  he  is,  and  so  one  ought  to  be 
as  charitable  toward  him  as  one  can.  Now  none  but  a  pretty  large 
heart  could  find  space  to  accommodate  a  lodger  like  Flint  Buckner, 
from  all  I  hear  about  him  outside.  I  think  that  this  one  detail  will 
give  you  a  better  idea  of  Sammy's  character  than  any  labored-out 
description  I  could  furnish  you  of  him.  In  one  of  our  talks  he  said 
something  about  like  this:  "Flint  is  a  kinsman  of  mine,  and  he  pours 
out  all  his  troubles  to  me  —  empties  his  breast  from  time  to  time, 
or  I  reckon  it  would  burst.  There  couldn't  be  any  unhappier  man, 
Archy  Stillman;  his  life  had  been  made  up  of  misery  of  mind  —  he 
isn't  near  as  old  as  he  looks.  He  has  lost  the  feel  of  reposefulness  and 
peace  —  oh,  years  and  years  ago!  He  doesn't  know  what  good  luck 
is  —  never  has  had  any;  often  says  he  wishes  he  was  in  the  other  hell, 
he  is  so  tired  of  this  one." 

CHAPTER  IV 

October  is  the  time — 1900;  Hope  Canon  is  the  place,  a  silver- 
mining  camp  away  down  in  the  Esmeralda  region.  It  is  a  secluded 
spot,  high  and  remote;  recent  as  to  discovery;  thought  by  its  oc- 
cupants to  be  rich  in  metal  —  a  year  or  two's  prospecting  will  decide 
that  matter  one  way  or  the  other.  For  inhabitants,  the  camp  has 
about  two  hundred  miners,  one  white  woman  and  child,  several 
Chinese  washermen,  five  squaws,  and  a  dozen  vagrant  buck  Indians 
in  rabbitskin  robes,  battered  plug  hats,  and  tin-can  necklaces.  There 
are  no  mills  as  yet;  no  church,  no  newspaper.  The  camp  has  existed 
but  two  years;  it  has  made  no  big  strike;  the  world  is  ignorant  of 
its  name  and  place. 

On  both  sides  of  the  canon  the  mountains  rise  wall-like,  three 
thousand  feet,  and  the  long  spiral  of  straggling  huts  down  in  its 
narrow  bottom  gets  a  kiss  from  the  sun  only  once  a  day,  when  he 
sails  over  at  noon.  The  village  is  a  couple  of  miles  long;  the  cabins 
stand  well  apart  from  each  other.  The  tavern  is  the  only  "frame" 


138  A    DOUBLE-BARRELLED    DETECTIVE    STORY 

house  —  the  only  house,  one  might  say.  It  occupies  a  central  position, 
and  is  the  evening  resort  of  the  population.  They  drink  there,  and 
play  seven-up  and  dominoes;  also  billiards,  for  there  is  a  table,  crossed 
all  over  with  torn  places  repaired  with  court  plaster;  there  are  some 
cues,  but  no  leathers;  some  chipped  balls  which  clatter  when  they 
run,  and  do  not  slow  up  gradually,  but  stop  suddenly  and  sit  down; 
there  is  a  part  of  a  cube  of  chalk,  with  a  projecting  jag  of  flint  in  it; 
and  the  man  who  can  score  six  on  a  single  break  can  set  up  the  drinks 
at  the  bar's  expense. 

Flint  Buckner's  cabin  was  the  last  one  of  the  village,  going  south; 
his  silver  claim  was  at  the  other  end  of  the  village,  northward,  and 
a  little  beyond  the  last  hut  in  that  direction.  He  was  a  sour  creature, 
unsociable,  and  had  no  companionships.  People  who  had  tried  to 
get  acquainted  with  him  had  regretted  it  and  dropped  him.  His 
history  was  not  known.  Some  believed  that  Sammy  Hillyer  knew  it; 
others  said  no.  If  asked,  Hillyer  said  no,  he  was  not  acquainted  with 
it.  Flint  had  a  meek  English  youth  of  sixteen  or  seventeen  with  him, 
whom  he  treated  roughly,  both  in  public  and  in  private;  and  of 
course  this  lad  was  applied  to  for  information,  but  with  no  success. 
Fetlock  Jones  —  name  of  the  youth  —  said  that  Flint  picked  him  up 
on  a  prospecting  tramp,  and  as  he  had  neither  home  nor  friends  in 
America,  he  had  found  it  wise  to  stay  and  take  Buckner's  hard  usage 
for  the  sake  of  the  salary,  which  was  bacon  and  beans.  Further  than 
this  he  could  offer  no  testimony. 

Fetlock  had  been  in  this  slavery  for  a  month  now,  and  under  his 
meek  exterior  he  was  slowly  consuming  to  a  cinder  with  the  insults 
and  humiliations  which  his  master  had  put  upon  him.  For  the  meek 
suffer  bitterly  from  these  hurts;  more  bitterly,  perhaps,  than  do  the 
manlier  sort,  who  can  burst  out  and  get  relief  with  words  or  blows 
when  the  limit  of  endurance  has  been  reached.  Goodhearted  people 
wanted  to  help  Fetlock  out  of  his  trouble,  and  tried  to  get  him  to  leave 
Buckner;  but  the  boy  showed  fright  at  the  thought,  and  said  he 
"dasn't."  Pat  Riley  urged  him,  and  said: 

"You  leave  the  damned  hunks  and  come  with  me;  don't  you  be 
afraid.  I'll  take  care  of  him" 

The  boy  thanked  him  with  tears  in  his  eyes,  but  shuddered  and 
said  he  "dasn't  risk  it";  he  said  Flint  would  catch  him  alone,  some- 


A    DOUBLE-BARRELLED    DETECTIVE    STORY  139 

time,  in  the  night,  and  then  —  "Oh,  it  makes  me  sick,  Mr.  Riley,  to 
think  of  it." 

Others  said,  "Run  away  from  him;  we'll  stake  you;  skip  out  for 
the  coast  some  night."  But  all  these  suggestions  failed;  he  said  Flint 
would  hunt  him  down  and  fetch  him  back,  just  for  meanness. 

The  people  could  not  understand  this.  The  boy's  miseries  went 
steadily  on,  week  after  week.  It  is  quite  likely  that  the  people  would 
have  understood  if  they  had  known  how  he  was  employing  his  spare 
time.  He  slept  in  an  out-cabin  near  Flint's;  and  there,  nights,  he 
nursed  his  bruises  and  his  humiliations,  and  studied  and  studied  over 
a  single  problem  —  how  he  could  murder  Flint  Buckner  and  not  be 
found  out.  It  was  the  only  joy  he  had  in  life;  these  hours  were  the 
only  ones  in  the  twenty-four  which  he  looked  forward  to  with  eager- 
ness and  spent  in  happiness. 

He  thought  of  poison.  No  —  that  would  not  serve;  the  inquest 
would  reveal  where  it  was  procured  and  who  had  procured  it.  He 
thought  of  a  shot  in  the  back  in  a  lonely  place  when  Flint  would 
be  homeward  bound  at  midnight  —  his  unvarying  hour  for  the  trip. 
No  —  somebody  might  be  near,  and  catch  him.  He  thought  of  stab- 
bing him  in  his  sleep.  No  —  he  might  strike  an  inefficient  blow,  and 
Flint  would  seize  him.  He  examined  a  hundred  different  ways- 
none  of  them  would  answer;  for  in  even  the  very  obscurest  and 
secretest  of  them  there  was  always  the  fatal  defect  of  a  ris\,  a  chance, 
a  possibility  that  he  might  be  found  out.  He  would  have  none  of  that. 

But  he  was  patient,  endlessly  patient.  There  was  no  hurry,  he  said 
to  himself.  He  would  never  leave  Flint  till  he  left  him  a  corpse; 
there  was  no  hurry  —  he  would  find  the  way.  It  was  somewhere, 
and  he  would  endure  shame  and  pain  and  misery  until  he  found  it. 
Yes,  somewhere  there  was  a  way  which  would  leave  not  a  trace, 
not  even  the  faintest  clue  to  the  murderer  —  there  was  no  hurry  - 
he  would  find  that  way,  and  then  —  oh,  then,  it  would  just  be  good 
to  be  alive!  Meantime  he  would  diligently  keep  up  his  reputation  for 
meekness;  and  also,  as  always  theretofore,  he  would  allow  no  one 
to  hear  him  say  a  resentful  or  offensive  thing  about  his  oppressor. 

Two  days  before  the  before-mentioned  October  morning  Flint  had 
bought  some  things,  and  he  and  Fetlock  had  brought  them  home  to 
Flint's  cabin:  a  fresh  box  of  candles,  which  they  put  in  the  corner; 


140  A    DOUBLE-BARRELLED    DETECTIVE    STORY 

a  tin  can  of  blasting  powder,  which  they  placed  upon  the  candle  box; 
a  keg  of  blasting  powder,  which  they  placed  under  Flint's  bunk; 
a  huge  coil  of  fuse,  which  they  hung  on  a  peg.  Fetlock  reasoned  that 
Flint's  mining  operations  had  outgrown  the  pick,  and  that  blasting 
was  about  to  begin  now.  He  had  seen  blasting  done,  and  he  had  a 
notion  of  the  process,  but  he  had  never  helped  in  it.  His  conjecture 
was  right  —  blasting  time  had  come.  In  the  morning  the  pair  carried 
fuse,  drills,  and  the  powder  can  to  the  shaft;  it  was  now  eight  feet 
deep,  and  to  get  into  it  and  out  of  it  a  short  ladder  was  used.  They 
descended,  and  by  command  Fetlock  held  the  drill  —  without  any 
instructions  as  to  the  right  way  to  hold  it  —  and  Flint  proceeded  to 
strike.  The  sledge  came  down;  the  drill  sprang  out  of  Fetlock's  hand, 
almost  as  a  matter  of  course. 

"You  mangy  son  of  a ,  is  that  any  way  to  hold  a  drill  ?  Pick  it 

up!  Stand  it  up!  There  — hold  fast.  /'//  teach  you!" 
At  the  end  of  an  hour  the  drilling  was  finished. 
"Now,  then,  charge  it." 
The  boy  started  to  pour  in  the  powder. 
"Idiot!" 

A  heavy  bat  on  the  jaw  laid  the  lad  out. 

"Get  up!  You  can't  lie  sniveling  there.  Now,  then,  stick  in  the 
fuse  first.  Now  put  in  the  powder.  Hold  on,  hold  on!  Are  you  going 
to  fill  the  hole  all  up  ?  Of  all  the  sap-headed  milksops  I  -  Put  in 
some  dirt!  Put  in  some  gravel!  Tamp  it  down!  Hold  on,  hold  on! 
Oh,  great  Scott!  Get  out  of  the  way!"  He  snatched  the  iron  and 
tamped  the  charge  himself,  meantime  cursing  and  blaspheming  like 
a  fiend.  Then  he  fired  the  fuse,  climbed  out  of  the  shaft,  and  ran 
fifty  yards  away,  Fetlock  following.  They  stood  waiting  a  few  min- 
utes, then  a  great  volume  of  smoke  and  rocks  burst  high  into  the  air 
with  a  thunderous  explosion;  after  a  little  there  was  a  shower  of 
descending  stones;  then  all  was  serene  again. 

"I  wish  to  God  you'd  been  in  it!"  remarked  the  master. 
They  went  down  the  shaft,  cleaned  it -out,  drilled  another  hole, 
and  put  in  another  charge. 

"Look  here!  How  much  fuse  are  you  proposing  to  waste?  Don't 
you  know  how  to  time  a  fuse?" 
"No,  sir." 
"You  don't!  Well,  if  you  don't  beat  anything  7  ever  saw!" 


A    DOUBLE-BARRELLED    DETECTIVE    STORY  14! 

He  climbed  out  of  the  shaft  and  spoke  down : 

"Well,  idiot,  are  you  going  to  be  all  day  ?  Cut  the  fuse  and  light  it!" 

The  trembling  creature  began: 

"If  you  please,  sir,  I  —  " 

"You  talk  back  to  me?  Cut  it  and  light  it!" 

The  boy  cut  and  lit. 

"Ger-reat  Scott!  A  one-minute  fuse!  I  wish  you  were  in  .  .  ." 

In  his  rage  he  snatched  the  ladder  out  of  the  shaft  and  ran.  The 
boy  was  aghast. 

"Oh,  my  God!  Help!  Help!  Save  me!"  he  implored. 

He  backed  against  the  wall  as  tightly  as  he  could;  the  sputtering 
fuse  frightened  the  voice  out  of  him;  his  breath  stood  still;  he  stood 
gazing  and  impotent;  in  two  seconds,  three  seconds,  four  he  would 
be  flying  toward  the  sky  torn  to  fragments.  Then  he  had  an  inspira- 
tion. He  sprang  at  the  fuse;  severed  the  inch  of  it  that  was  left  above 
ground,  and  was  saved. 

He  sank  down  limp  and  half  lifeless  with  fright,  his  strength  gone; 
but  he  muttered  with  a  deep  joy: 

"He  has  learnt  me!  I  knew  there  was  a  way,  if  I  would  wait." 

After  a  matter  of  five  minutes  Buckner  stole  to  the  shaft,  looking 
worried  and  uneasy,  and  peered  down  into  it.  He  took  in  the  situa- 
tion; he  saw  what  had  happened.  He  lowered  the  ladder,  and  the  boy 
dragged  himself  weakly  up  it.  He  was  very  white.  His  appearance 
added  something  to  Buckner's  uncomfortable  state,  and  he  said,  with 
a  show  of  regret  and  sympathy  which  sat  upon  him  awkwardly  from 
lack  of  practice : 

"It  was  an  accident,  you  know.  Don't  say  anything  about  it  to 
anybody;  I  was  excited,  and  didn't  notice  what  I  was  doing.  You're 
not  looking  well;  you've  worked  enough  for  today;  go  down  to  my 
cabin  and  eat  what  you  want,  and  rest.  It's  just  an  accident,  you 
know,  on  account  of  my  being  excited." 

"It  scared  me,"  said  the  lad,  as  he  started  away,  "but  I  learnt  some- 
thing, so  I  don't  mind  it." 

"Damned  easy  to  please!"  muttered  Buckner,  following  him  with 
his  eye.  "I  wonder  if  he'll  tell.  Mightn't  he?  ...  I  wish  it  had  killed 
him." 

The  boy  took  no  advantage  of  his  holiday  in  the  matter  of  resting; 
he  employed  it  in  work,  eager  and  feverish  and  happy  work.  A 


142  A    DOUBLE-BARRELLED    DETECTIVE    STORY 

thick  growth  of  chaparral  extended  down  the  mountainside  clear  to 
Flint's  cabin;  the  most  of  Fetlock's  labor  was  done  in  the  dark  in- 
tricacies of  that  stubborn  growth;  the  rest  of  it  was  done  in  his  own 
shanty.  At  last  all  was  complete,  and  he  said : 

"If  he's  got  any  suspicions  that  I'm  going  to  tell  on  him,  he  won't 
keep  them  long,  tomorrow.  He  will  see  that  I  am  the  same  milksop 
as  I  always  was  —  all  day  and  the  next.  And  the  day  after  tomorrow 
night  there'll  be  an  end  of  him;  nobody  will  ever  guess  who  finished 
him  up  nor  how  it  was  done.  He  dropped  me  the  idea  his  own  self, 
and  that's  odd." 

CHAPTER  V 

Two  afternoons  later  the  village  was  electrified  with  an  immense 
sensation.  A  grave  and  dignified  foreigner  of  distinguished  bearing 
and  appearance  had  arrived  at  the  tavern,  and  entered  this  formidable 
name  upon  the  register : 

Sherlocf(  Holmes 

The  news  buzzed  from  cabin  to  cabin,  from  claim  to  claim;  tools 
were  dropped,  and  the  town  swarmed  toward  the  center  of  interest. 
A  man  passing  out  at  the  northern  end  of  the  village  shouted  it  to 
Pat  Riley,  whose  claim  was  the  next  one  to  Flint  Buckner's.  At  that 
time  Fetlock  Jones  seemed  to  turn  sick.  He  muttered  to  himself: 

"Uncle  Sherloc{!  The  mean  luck  of  it!— that  he  should  come 
just  when  .  .  ."  He  dropped  into  a  reverie,  and  presently  said  to 
himself:  "But  what's  the  use  of  being  afraid  of  him?  Anybody  that 
knows  him  the  way  I  do  knows  he  can't  detect  a  crime  except  where 
he  plans  it  all  out  beforehand  and  arranges  the  clues  and  hires  some 
fellow  to  commit  it  according  to  instructions.  .  .  .  Now  there  ain't 
going  to  be  any  clues  this  time  — so,  what  show  has  he  got?  None 
at  all.  No,  sir;  everything's  ready.  If  I  was  to  risk  putting  it  off  — 
No,  I  won't  run  any  risk  like  that.  Flint  Buckner  goes  out  of  this 
world  tonight,  for  sure."  Then  another  trouble  presented  itself.  "Un- 
cle Sherlock'll  be  wanting  to  talk  home  matters  with  me  this  evening, 
and  how  am  I  going  to  get  rid  of  him,  for  I've  got  to  be  at  my  cabin 
for  a  minute  or  two  about  eight  o'clock?"  This  was  an  awkward 
matter,  and  cost  him  much  thought.  But  he  found  a  way  to  beat  the 
difficulty.  "We'll  go  for  a  walk,  and  I'll  leave  him  in  the  road  a 


A    DOUBLE-BARRELLED    DETECTIVE    STORY  143 

minute,  so  that  he  won't  see  what  it  is  I  do;  the  best  way  to  throw  a 
detective  off  the  track,  anyway,  is  to  have  him  along  when  you  are 
preparing  the  thing.  Yes,  that's  the  safest  —  I'll  take  him  with  me." 

Meantime  the  road  in  front  of  the  tavern  was  blocked  with  vil- 
lagers waiting  and  hoping  for  a  glimpse  of  the  great  man.  But  he 
kept  his  room,  and  did  not  appear.  None  but  Wells-Fargo's  man, 
Ferguson,  Jake  Parker  the  blacksmith,  and  Ham  Sandwich  the  miner 
had  any  luck.  These  enthusiastic  admirers  of  the  great  scientific  de- 
tective hired  the  tavern's  detained-baggage  lockup,  which  looked  into 
the  detective's  room  across  a  little  alleyway  ten  or  twelve  feet  wide, 
ambushed  themselves  in  it,  and  cut  some  peepholes  in  die  window 
blind.  Mr.  Holmes's  blinds  were  down;  but  by  and  by  he  raised  them. 
It  gave  the  spies  a  hair-lifting  but  pleasurable  thrill  to  find  themselves 
face  to  face  with  the  Extraordinary  Man  who  had  filled  the  world 
with  the  fame  of  his  more  than  human  ingenuities.  There  he  sat  - 
not  a  myth,  not  a  shadow,  but  real,  alive,  compact  of  substance,  and 
almost  within  touching  distance  with  the  hand. 

"Look  at  that  head!"  said  Ferguson,  in  an  awed  voice.  "By  gracious, 
that's  a  head!" 

"You  bet!"  said  the  blacksmith,  with  deep  reverence.  "Look  at  his 
nose!  Look  at  his  eyes!  Intellect?  Just  a  battery  of  it!" 

"And  that  paleness,"  said  Ham  Sandwich.  "Comes  from  thought 
—  that's  what  it  comes  from.  Hell!  Duffers  like  us  don't  know  what 
real  thought  is" 

"No  more  we  don't,"  said  Ferguson.  "What  we  take  for  thinking 
is  just  blubber  and  slush." 

"Right  you  are,  Wells-Fargo.  And  look  at  that  frown  —  that's  deep 
thinking  —  away  down,  down,  forty  fathom  into  the  bowels  of  things. 
He's  on  the  track  of  something." 

"Well,  he  is,  and  don't  you  forget  it.  Say  —  look  at  that  awful 
gravity  —  look  at  that  pallid  solemnness  —  there  ain't  any  corpse 
can  lay  over  it." 

"No,  sir,  not  for  dollars!  And  it's  his'n  by  hereditary  rights,  too; 
he's  been  dead  four  times  a'ready,  and  there's  history  for  it.  Three 
times  natural,  once  by  accident.  I've  heard  say  he  smells  damp  and 
cold,  like  a  grave.  And  he  —  " 

"'Sh!  Watch  him!  There  —  he's  got  his  thumb  on  the  bump  on 
the  near  corner  of  his  forehead,  and  his  forefinger  on  the  off  one. 


144  A    DOUBLE-BARRELLED    DETECTIVE    STORY 

His  think-works  is  just  ^-grinding  now,  you  bet  your  other  shirt." 
"That's  so.  And  now  he's  gazing  up  toward  heaven  and  stroking 
his  mustache  slow,  and  —  " 

"Now  he  has  rose  up  standing,  and  is  putting  his  clues  together 
on  his  left  fingers  with  his  right  finger.  See?  He  touches  the  fore- 
finger —  now  middle  finger  —  now  ring  finger  —  " 
"Stuck!" 

"Look  at  him  scowl!  He  can't  seem  to  make  out  that  clue.  So  he  —  " 
"See  him  smile  —  like  a  tiger  —  and  tally  off  the  other  fingers  like 
nothing!  He's  got  it,  boys;  he's  got  it  sure!" 
"Well,  I  should  say!  I'd  hate  to  be  in  that  man's  place  that  he's 

after." 

Mr.  Holmes  drew  a  table  to  the  window,  sat  down  with  his  back 
to  the  spies,  and  proceeded  to  write.  The  spies  withdrew  their  eyes 
from  the  peepholes,  lit  their  pipes,  and  settled  themselves  for  a  com- 
fortable smoke  and  talk.  Ferguson  said,  with  conviction: 

"Boys,  it's  no  use  talking,  he's  a  wonder!  He's  got  the  signs  of  it 
all  over  him." 

"You  hain't  ever  said  a  truer  word  than  that,  Wells-Fargo,"  said 

Jake  Parker. 
Ferguson  sat  silently,  then  he  murmured,  with  a  deep  awe  in  his 

voice : 

"I  wonder  if  God  made  him." 

There  was  no  response  for  a  moment;  then  Ham  Sandwich  said, 
reverently: 

"Not  all  at  one  time,  I  reckon." 

CHAPTER  VI 

At  eight  o'clock  that  evening  two  persons  were  groping  their  way 
past  Flint  Buckner's  cabin  in  the  frosty  gloom.  They  were  Sherlock 
Holmes  and  his  nephew. 

"Stop  here  in  the  road  a  moment,  Uncle,"  said  Fetlock,  "while  I 
run  to  my  cabin;  I  won't  be  gone  a  minute." 

He  asked  for  something  —  the  uncle  furnished  it  —  then  he  disap- 
peared in  the  darkness,  but  soon  returned,  and  the  talking  walk  was 
resumed.  By  nine  o'clock  they  had  wandered  back  to  the  tavern.  They 
worked  their  way  through  the  billiard  room,  where  a  crowd  had 
gathered  in  the  hope  of  getting  a  glimpse  of  the  Extraordinary  Man. 


A    DOUBLE-BARRELLED    DETECTIVE    STORY  145 

A  royal  cheer  was  raised.  Mr.  Holmes  acknowledged  the  compliment 
with  a  series  of  courtly  bows,  and  as  he  was  passing  out  his  nephew 
said  to  the  assemblage : 

"Uncle  Sherlock's  got  some  work  to  do,  gentlemen,  that'll  keep 
him  till  twelve  or  one;  but  he'll  be  down  again  then,  or  earlier  if  he 
can,  and  hopes  some  of  you'll  be  left  to  take  a  drink  with  him." 

"By  George,  he's  just  a  duke,  boys!  Three  cheers  for  Sherlock 
Holmes,  the  greatest  man  that  ever  lived!"  shouted  Ferguson.  "Hip, 
hip,  hip  —  " 

"Hurrah!  Hurrah!  Hurrah!  Tiger!" 

The  uproar  shook  the  building,  so  hearty  was  the  feeling  the  boys 
put  into  their  welcome.  Upstairs  the  uncle  reproached  the  nephew 
gently,  saying: 

"What  did  you  get  me  into  that  engagement  for?" 

"I  reckon  you  don't  want  to  be  unpopular,  do  you,  Uncle?  Well, 
then,  don't  you  put  on  any  exclusiveness  in  a  mining  camp,  that's 
all.  The  boys  admire  you;  but  if  you  was  to  leave  without  taking  a 
drink  with  them,  they'd  set  you  down  for  a  snob.  And  besides,  you 
said  you  had  home  talk  enough  in  stock  to  keep  us  up  and  at  it  half 
the  night." 

The  boy  was  right,  and  wise  —  the  uncle  acknowledged  it.  The 
boy  was  wise  in  another  detail  which  he  did  not  mention  —  except 
to  himself :  "Uncle  and  the  others  will  come  handy  —  in  the  way  of 
nailing  an  alibi  where  it  can't  be  budged." 

He  and  his  uncle  talked  diligently  about  three  hours.  Then,  about 
midnight,  Fetlock  stepped  downstairs  and  took  a  position  in  the  dark 
a  dozen  steps  from  the  tavern,  and  waited.  Five  minutes  later  Flint 
Buckner  came  rocking  out  of  the  billiard  room  and  almost  brushed 
him  as  he  passed. 

"I've  got  him!"  muttered  the  boy.  He  continued  to  himself,  looking 
after  the  shadowy  form :  "Good-by  —  good-by  for  good,  Flint  Buck- 
ner; you  called  my  mother  a  —  well,  never  mind  what:  it's  all  right, 
now;  you're  taking  your  last  walk,  friend." 

He  went  musing  back  into  the  tavern.  "From  now  till  one  is  an 
hour.  We'll  spend  it  with  the  boys:  it's  good  for  the  alibi" 

He  brought  Sherlock  Holmes  to  the  billiard  room,  which  was 
jammed  with  eager  and  admiring  miners;  the  guest  called  the  drinks, 
and  the  fun  began.  Everybody  was  happy;  everybody  was  compli- 


146  A    DOUBLE-BARRELLED    DETECTIVE    STORY 

mentary;  the  ice  was  soon  broken,  songs,  anecdotes,  and  more  drinks 
followed,  and  the  pregnant  minutes  flew.  At  six  minutes  to  one, 
when  the  jollity  was  at  its  highest  — 

Boom! 

There  was  silence  instantly.  The  deep  sound  came  rolling  and 
rumbling  from  peak  to  peak  up  the  gorge,  then  died  down,  and 
ceased.  The  spell  broke,  then,  and  the  men  made  a  rush  for  the  door, 
saying : 

"Something's  blown  up!" 

Outside,  a  voice  in  the  darkness  said,  "It's  away  down  the  gorge; 
I  saw  the  flash." 

The  crowd  poured  down  the  canon  —  Holmes,  Fetlock,  Archy 
Stillman,  everybody.  They  made  the  mile  in  a  few  minutes.  By  the 
light  of  a  lantern  they  found  the  smooth  and  solid  dirt  floor  of  Flint 
Buckner's  cabin;  of  the  cabin  itself  not  a  vestige  remained,  not  a 
rag  nor  a  splinter.  Nor  any  sign  of  Flint.  Search  parties  sought  here 
and  there  and  yonder,  and  presently  a  cry  went  up. 

"Here  he  is!" 

It  was  true.  Fifty  yards  down  the  gulch  they  had  found  him  — 
that  is,  they  had  found  a  crushed  and  lifeless  mass  which  represented 
him.  Fetlock  Jones  hurried  thither  with  the  others  and  looked. 

The  inquest  was  a  fifteen-minute  affair.  Ham  Sandwich,  foreman 
of  the  jury,  handed  up  the  verdict,  which  was  phrased  with  a  certain 
unstudied  literary  grace,  and  closed  with  this  finding,  to  wit:  that 
"deceased  came  to  his  death  by  his  own  act  or  some  other  person  or 
persons  unknown  to  this  jury  not  leaving  any  family  or  similar 
effects  behind  but  his  cabin  which  was  blown  away  and  God  have 
mercy  on  his  soul  amen." 

Then  the  impatient  jury  rejoined  the  main  crowd,  for  the  storm- 
center  of  interest  was  there  —  Sherlock  Holmes.  The  miners  stood 
silent  and  reverent  in  a  half-circle,  inclosing  a  large  vacant  space 
which  included  the  front  exposure  of  the  site  of  the  late  premises. 
In  this  considerable  space  the  Extraordinary  Man  was  moving  about, 
attended  by  his  nephew  with  a  lantern.  With  a  tape  he  took  measure- 
ments of  the  cabin  site;  of  the  distance  from  the  wall  of  chaparral  to 
the  road;  of  the  height  of  the  chaparral  bushes;  also  various  other 
measurements.  He  gathered  a  rag  here,  a  splinter  there,  and  a  pinch 
of  earth  yonder,  inspected  them  profoundly,  and  preserved  them.  He 


A    DOUBLE-BARRELLED    DETECTIVE    STORY  147 

took  the  "lay"  of  the  place  with  a  pocket-compass,  allowing  two 
seconds  for  magnetic  variation.  He  took  the  time  (Pacific)  by  his 
watch,  correcting  it  for  local  time.  He  paced  off  the  distance  from  the 
cabin  site  to  the  corpse,  and  corrected  that  for  tidal  differentiation. 
He  took  the  altitude  with  a  pocket  aneroid,  and  the  temperature  with 
a  pocket  thermometer.  Finally  he  said,  with  a  stately  bow: 

"It  is  finished.  Shall  we  return,  gentlemen?" 

He  took  up  the  line  of  march  for  the  tavern,  and  the  crowd  fell 
into  his  wake,  earnestly  discussing  and  admiring  the  Extraordinary 
Man,  and  interlarding  guesses  as  to  the  origin  of  the  tragedy  and  who 
the  author  of  it  might  be. 

"My,  but  it's  grand  luck  having  him  here  — hey,  boys?"  said 
Ferguson. 

"It's  the  biggest  thing  of  the  century,"  said  Ham  Sandwich.  "It'll 
go  all  over  the  world;  you  mark  my  words." 

"You  bet!"  said  Jake  Parker,  the  blacksmith.  "It'll  boom  this  camp. 
Ain't  it  so,  Wells-Far  go?" 

"Well,  as  you  want  my  opinion  —  if  it's  any  sign  of  how  /  think 
about  it,  I  can  tell  you  this :  yesterday  I  was  holding  the  Straight  Flush 
claim  at  two  dollars  a  foot;  I'd  like  to  see  the  man  that  can  get  it  at 
sixteen  today." 

"Right  you  are,  Wells-Fargo!  It's  the  grandest  luck  a  new  camp 
ever  struck.  Say,  did  you  see  him  collar  them  little  rags  and  dirt  and 
things?  What  an  eye!  He  just  can't  overlook  a  clue--'tain't  in  him." 

"That's  so.  And  they  wouldn't  mean  a  thing  to  anybody  else;  but 
to  him,  why,  they're  just  a  book  —  large  print  at  that." 

"Sure's  you're  born!  Them  odds  and  ends  have  got  their  little  old 
secret,  and  they  think  there  ain't  anybody  can  pull  it;  but,  land! 
when  he  sets  his  grip  there  they've  got  to  squeal,  and  don't  you  forget 
it." 

"Say,  boys,  who  do  you  reckon  done  it?" 

That  was  a  difficult  question,  and  brought  out  a  world  of  un- 
satisfying conjecture.  Various  men  were  mentioned  as  possibilities, 
but  one  by  one  they  were  discarded  as  not  being  eligible.  No  one  but 
young  Hillyer  had  been  intimate  with  Flint  Buckner;  no  one  had 
really  had  a  quarrel  with  him;  he  had  affronted  every  man  who  had 
tried  to  make  up  to  him,  although  not  quite  offensively  enough  to 
require  bloodshed.  There  was  one  name  that  was  upon  every  tongue 


148  A    DOUBLE-BARRELLED    DETECTIVE    STORY 

from  the  start,  but  it  was  the  last  to  get  utterance  —  Fetlock  Jones's. 
It  was  Pat  Riley  that  mentioned  it. 

"Oh,  well,"  the  boys  said,  "of  course  we've  all  thought  of  him, 
because  he  had  a  million  rights  to  kill  Flint  Buckner,  and  it  was  just 
his  plain  duty  to  do  it.  But  all  the  same  there's  two  things  we  can't 
get  around:  for  one  thing,  he  hasn't  got  the  sand;  and  for  another, 
he  wasn't  anywhere  near  the  place  when  it  happened." 

"I  know  it,"  said  Pat.  "He  was  there  in  the  billiard  room  with  us 
when  it  happened." 

"Yes,  and  was  there  all  the  time  for  an  hour  before  it  happened." 

"It's  so.  And  lucky  for  him,  too.  He'd  have  been  suspected  in  a 
minute  if  it  hadn't  been  for  that." 

CHAPTER  VII 

The  tavern  dining  room  had  been  cleared  of  all  its  furniture  save 
one  six-foot  pine  table  and  a  chair.  This  table  was  against  one  end 
of  the  room;  the  chair  was  on  it;  Sherlock  Holmes,  stately,  imposing, 
impressive,  sat  in  the  chair.  The  public  stood.  The  room  was  full. 
The  tobacco  smoke  was  dense,  the  stillness  profound. 

The  Extraordinary  Man  raised  his  hand  to  command  additional 
silence;  held  it  in  the  air  a  few  moments;  then,  in  brief,  crisp  terms 
he  put  forward  question  after  question,  and  noted  the  answers  with 
"Um-ums,"  nods  of  the  head,  and  so  on.  By  this  process  he  learned 
all  about  Flint  Buckner,  his  character,  conduct,  and  habits,  that  the 
people  were  able  to  tell  him.  It  thus  transpired  that  the  Extraordinary 
Man's  nephew  was  the  only  person  in  the  camp  who  had  a  killing- 
grudge  against  Flint  Buckner.  Mr.  Holmes  smiled  compassionately 
upon  the  witness,  and  asked,  languidly: 

"Do  any  of  you  gentlemen  chance  to  know  where  the  lad  Fetlock 
Jones  was  at  the  time  of  the  explosion?" 

A  thunderous  response  followed: 

"In  the  billiard  room  of  this  house!" 

"Ah.  And  had  he  just  come  in?" 

"Been  there  all  of  an  hour!" 

"Ah.  It  is  about  —  about  —  well,  about  how  far  might  it  be  to  the 
scene  of  the  explosion?" 

"All  of  a  mile!" 


A    DOUBLE-BARRELLED    DETECTIVE    STORY  149 

"Ah.  It  isn't  much  of  an  alibi,  'tis  true,  but  —  " 

A  storm-burst  of  laughter,  mingled  with  shouts  of  "By  Jimminy, 
but  he's  chain  lightning!"  and  "Ain't  you  sorry  you  spoke,  Sandy?" 
shut  off  the  rest  of  the  sentence,  and  the  crushed  witness  drooped  his 
blushing  face  in  pathetic  shame.  The  inquisitor  resumed: 

"The  lad  Jones's  somewhat  distant  connection  with  the  case" 
(laughter}  "having  been  disposed  of,  let  us  now  call  the  eye-witnesses 
of  the  tragedy,  and  listen  to  what  they  have  to  say." 

He  got  out  his  fragmentary  clues  and  arranged  them  on  a  sheet  of 
cardboard  on  his  knee.  The  house  held  its  breath  and  watched. 

"We  have  the  longitude  and  the  latitude,  corrected  for  magnetic 
variation,  and  this  gives  us  the  exact  location  of  the  tragedy.  We  have 
the  altitude,  the  temperature,  and  the  degree  of  humidity  prevailing 
—  inestimably  valuable,  since  they  enable  us  to  estimate  with  precision 
the  degree  of  influence  which  they  would  exercise  upon  the  mood  and 
disposition  of  the  assassin  at  that  time  of  the  night." 

(Buzz  of  admiration;  muttered  remarf^,  "By  George,  but  he's 
deep!")  He  fingered  his  clues.  "And  now  let  us  ask  these  mute 
witnesses  to  speak  to  us. 

"Here  we  have  an  empty  linen  shot-bag.  What  is  its  message? 
This:  that  robbery  was  the  motive,  not  revenge.  What  is  its  further 
message  ?  This :  that  the  assassin  was  of  inferior  intelligence  —  shall 
we  say  light-witted,  or  perhaps  approaching  that  ?  How  do  we  know 
this  ?  Because  a  person  of  sound  intelligence  would  not  have  proposed 
to  rob  the  man  Buckner,  who  never  had  much  money  with  him.  But 
the  assassin  might  have  been  a  stranger  ?  Let  the  bag  speak  again.  I 
take  from  it  this  article.  It  is  a  bit  of  silver-bearing  quartz.  It  is 
peculiar.  Examine  it,  please  —  you  —  and  you  —  and  you.  Now  pass 
it  back,  please.  There  is  but  one  lode  on  this  coast  which  produces 
just  that  character  and  color  of  quartz;  and  that  is  a  lode  which  crops 
out  for  nearly  two  miles  on  a  stretch,  and  in  my  opinion  is  destined, 
at  no  distant  day,  to  confer  upon  its  locality  a  globe-girdling  celebrity, 
and  upon  its  two  hundred  owners  riches  beyond  the  dreams  of  avarice. 
Name  that  lode,  please." 

"The  Consolidated  Christian  Science  and  Mary  Ann!"  was  the 
prompt  response. 

A  wild  crash  of  hurrahs  followed,  and  every  man  reached  for  his 


150  A    DOUBLE-BARRELLED    DETECTIVE    STORY 

neighbor's  hand  and  wrung  it,  with  tears  in  his  eyes;  and  Wells- 
Fargo  Ferguson  shouted,  "The  Straight  Flush  is  on  the  lode,  and  up 
she  goes  to  a  hundred  and  fifty  a  foot  —  you  hear  me!" 

When  quiet  fell,  Mr.  Holmes  resumed: 

"We  perceive,  then,  that  three  facts  are  established,  to  wit:  the 
assassin  was  approximately  light-witted ;  he  was  not  a  stranger;  his 
motive  was  robbery,  not  revenge.  Let  us  proceed.  I  hold  in  my  hand 
a  small  fragment  of  fuse,  with  the  recent  smell  of  fire  upon  it.  What 
is  its  testimony  ?  Taken  with  the  corroborative  evidence  of  the  quartz, 
it  reveals  to  us  that  the  assassin  was  a  miner.  What  does  it  tell 
us  further?  This,  gentlemen:  that  die  assassination  was  consum- 
mated by  means  of  an  explosive.  What'  else  does  it  say  ?  This :  that 
the  explosive  was  located  against  the  side  of  the  cabin  nearest 
the  road  —  the  front  side  —  for  within  six  feet  of  that  spot  I  found 

it. 

"I  hold  in  my  fingers  a  burnt  Swedish  match  —  the  kind  one  rubs 
on  a  safety  box.  I  found  it  in  the  road,  six  hundred  and  twenty-two 
feet  from  the  abolished  cabin.  What  does  it  say?  This:  that  the  train 
was  fired  from  that  point.  What  further  does  it  tell  us?  This:  that 
die  assassin  was  left-handed. .How  do  I  know  this?  I  should  not  be 
able  to  explain  to  you,  gentlemen,  how  I  know  it,  the  signs  being  so 
subtle  that  only  long  experience  and  deep  study  can  enable  one  to 
detect  them.  But  the  signs  are  here,  and  they  are  reinforced  by  a 
fact  which  you  must  have  often  noticed  in  the  great  detective  nar- 
ratives —  that  all  assassins  are  left-handed." 

"By  Jackson,  that's  so!"  said  Ham  Sandwich,  bringing  his  great 
hand  down  with  a  resounding  slap  upon  his  thigh.  "Blamed  if  I 
ever  thought  of  it  before." 

"Nor  I!"  "Nor  I!"  cried  several.  "Oh,  there  can't  anything  escape 
him  —  look  at  his  eye!" 

"Gentlemen,  distant  as  the  murderer  was  from  his  doomed  victim, 
he  did  not  wholly  escape  injury.  This  fragment  of  wood  which  I  now 
exhibit  to  you  struck  him.  It  drew  blood.  Wherever  he  is,  he  bears 
the  telltale  mark.  I  picked  it  up  where  he  stood  when  he  fired  the 
fatal  train."  He  looked  out  over  the  house  from  his  high  perch,  and 
his  countenance  began  to  darken;  he  slowly  raised  his  hand,  and 
pointed: 

"There  stands  the  assassin!" 


A    DOUBLE-BARRELLED    DETECTIVE    STORY 

For  a  moment  the  house  was  paralyzed  with  amazement;  then 
twenty  voices  burst  out  with: 

"Sammy  Hillyer?  Oh,  hell,  no!  Him?  It's  pure  foolishness!" 

"Take  care,  gentlemen  --  be  not  hasty.  Observe  —  he  has  the  blood- 
mark  on  his  brow." 

Hillyer  turned  white  with  fright.  He  was  near  to  crying.  He  turned 
this  way  and  that,  appealing  to  every  face  for  help  and  sympathy; 
and  held  out  his  supplicating  hands  toward  Holmes  and  began  to 
plead: 

"Don't,  oh,  don't!  I  never  did  it;  I  give  my  word  I  never  did  it. 
The  way  I  got  this  hurt  on  my  forehead  was- 

" Arrest  him,  Constable!"  cried  Holmes.  "I  will  swear  out  the 

warrant." 

The  constable  moved  reluctantly  forward -- hesitated  —  stopped. 

Hillyer  broke  out  with  another  appeal.  "Oh,  Archy,  don't  let 
them  do  it;  it  would  kill  Mother!  You  know  how  I  got  die  hurt. 
Tell  them,  and  save  me,  Archy;  save  me!" 

Stillman  worked  his  way  to  the  front,  and  said: 

"Yes,  I'll  save  you.  Don't  be  afraid."  Then  he  said  to  the  house, 
"Never  mind  how  he  got  the  hurt;  it  hasn't  anything  to  do  with 
this  case,  and  isn't  of  any  consequence." 

"God  bless  you,  Archy,  for  a  true  friend!" 

"Hurrah  for  Archy!  Go  in,  boy,  and  play  'em  a  knock-down  flush 
to  their  two  pair  'n'  a  jack!"  shouted  the  house,  pride  in  their  home 
talent  and  a  patriotic  sentiment  of  loyalty  to  it  rising  suddenly  in 
the  public  heart  and  changing  the  whole  attitude  of  the  situation. 

Young  Stillman  waited  for  die  noise  to  cease;  then  he  said: 

"I  will  ask  Tom  Jeffries  to  stand  by  that  door  yonder,  and  Con- 
stable Harris  to  stand  by  the  other  one  here,  and  not  let  anybody 
leave  the  room." 

"Said  and  done.  Go  on,  old  man!" 

"The  criminal  is  present,  I  believe.  I  will  show  him  to  you  before 
long,  in  case  I  am  right  in  my  guess.  Now  I  will  tell  you  all  about  the 
tragedy,  from  start  to  finish.  The  motive  wasn't  robbery;  it  was  re- 
venge. The  murderer  wasn't  light-witted.  He  didn't  stand  six  hun- 
dred and  twenty-two  feet  away.  He  didn't  get  hit  with  a  piece  of 
wood.  He  didn't  place  the  explosive  against  the  cabin.  He  didn't 
bring  a  shot-bag  with  him,  and  he  wasn't  left-handed.  With  the 


152  A    DOUBLE-BARRELLED    DETECTIVE    STORY 

exception  of  these  errors,  the  distinguished  guest's  statement  of  the 
case  is  substantially  correct." 

A  comfortable  laugh  rippled  over  the  house;  friend  nodded  to 
friend,  as  much  as  to  say,  "That's  the  word,  with  the  bark  on  it. 
Good  lad,  good  boy.  He  ain't  lowering  his  flag  any!" 

The  guest's  serenity  was  not  disturbed.  Stillman  resumed: 

"I  also  have  some  witnesses;  and  I  will  presently  tell  you  where 
you  can  find  some  more."  He  held  up  a  piece  of  coarse  wire;  the 
crowd  craned  their  necks  to  see.  "It  has  a  smooth  coating  of  melted 
tallow  on  it.  And  here  is  a  candle  which  is  burned  halfway  down* 
The  remaining  half  of  it  has  marks  cut  upon  it  an  inch  apart.  Soon 
I  will  tell  you  where  I  found  these  things.  I  will  now  put  aside 
reasonings,  guesses,  the  impressive  hitchings  of  odds  and  ends  of 
clues  together,  and  the  other  showy  theatricals  of  the  detective  trade, 
and  tell  you  in  a  plain,  straightforward  way  just  how  this  dismal 
thing  happened." 

He  paused  a  moment,  for  effect  — to  allow  silence  and  suspense 
to  intensify  and  concentrate  the  house's  interest;  then  he  went  on: 

"The  assassin  studied  out  his  plan  with  a  good  deal  of  pains.  It  was 
a  good  plan,  very  ingenious,  and  showed  an  intelligent  mind,  not  a 
feeble  one.  It  was  a  plan  which  was  well  calculated  to  ward  off 
all  suspicion  from  its  inventor.  In  the  first  place,  he  marked  a  candle 
into  spaces  an  inch  apart,  and  lit  it  and  timed  it.  He  found  it  took 
three  hours  to  burn  four  inches  of  it.  I  tried  it  myself  for  half  an 
hour,  awhile  ago,  upstairs  here,  while  the  inquiry  into  Flint  Buckner's 
character  and  ways  was  being  conducted  in  this  room,  and  I  arrived 
in  that  way  at  the  rate  of  a  candle's  consumption  when  sheltered 
from  the  wind.  Having  proved  his  trial  candle's  rate,  he  blew  it  out 
—  I  have  already  shown  it  to  you  — and  put  his  inch  marks  on  a 

fresh  one. 

"He  put  the  fresh  one  into  a  tin  candlestick.  Then  at  the  five-hour 
mark  he  bored  a  hole  through  the  candle  with  a  red-hot  wire.  I  have 
already  shown  you  the  wire,  with  a  smooth  coat  of  tallow  on  it  — 
tallow  that  had  been  melted  and  had  cooled. 

"With  labor  — very  hard  labor,  I  should  say  — he  struggled  up 
through  the  stiff  chaparral  that  clothes  the  steep  hillside  back  of 
Flint  Buckner's  place,  tugging  an  empty  flour  barrel  with  him.  He 
placed  it  in  that  absolutely  secure  hiding  place,  and  in  the  bottom 


A    DOUBLE-BARRELLED    DETECTIVE    STORY  153 

of  it  he  set  the  candlestick.  Then  he  measured  off  about  thirty-five 
feet  of  fuse  —  the  barrel's  distance  from  the  back  of  the  cabin.  He 
bored  a  hole  in  the  side  of  the  barrel  —  here  is  the  large  gimlet  he 
did  it  with.  He  went  on  and  finished  his  work;  and  when  it  was  done, 
one  end  of  the  fuse  was  in  Buckner's  cabin,  and  the  other  end,  with 
a  notch  chipped  in  it  to  expose  the  powder,  was  in  the  hole  in  the 
candle  — timed  to  blow  the  place  up  at  one  o'clock  this  morning, 
provided  the  candle  was  lit  about  eight  o'clock  yesterday  evening  - 
which  I  am  betting  it  was  —  and  provided  there  was  an  explosive  in 
the  cabin  and  connected  with  that  end  of  the  fuse  — which  I  am 
also  betting  there  was,  though  I  can't  prove  it.  Boys,  the  barrel  is 
there  in  the  chaparral,  the  candle's  remains  are  in  it  in  the  tin  stick; 
the  burnt-out  fuse  is  in  the  gimlet  hole,  the  other  end  is  down  the 
hill  where  the  late  cabin  stood.  I  saw  them  all  an  hour  or  two  ago, 
when  the  professor  here  was  measuring  off  unimplicated  vacancies 
and  collecting  relics  that  hadn't  anything  to  do  with  the  case." 

He  paused.  The  house  drew  a  long,  deep  breath,  shook  its  strained 

cords  and  muscles  free  and  burst  into  cheers.  "Dang  him!"  said  Ham 

Sandwich,  "that's  why  he  was  snooping  around  in  the  chaparral, 

instead  of  picking  up  points  out  of  the  p'fessor's  game.  Looky  here 

-  he  ain't  no  fool,  boys." 

"No,  sir!  Why,  great  Scott - 

But  Stillman  was  resuming: 

"While  we  were  out  yonder  an  hour  or  two  ago,  the  owner  of  the 
gimlet  and  the  trial  candle  took  them  from  a  place  where  he  had 
concealed  them  — it  was  not  a  good  place  — and  carried  them  to 
what  he  probably  thought  was  a  better  one,  two  hundred  yards  up 
in  the  pinewoods,  and  hid  them  there,  covering  them  over  with 
pine  needles.  It  was  there  that  I  found  them.  The  gimlet  exactly 
fits  the  hole  in  the  barrel.  And  now  - 

The  Extraordinary  Man  interrupted  him.  He  said,  sarcastically: 

"We  have  had  a  very  pretty  fairy  tale,  gentlemen  —  very  pretty 
indeed.  Now  I  would  like  to  ask  this  young  man  a  question  or  two." 

Some  of  the  boys  winced,  and  Ferguson  said . 

"I'm  afraid  Archy's  going  to  catch  it  now." 

The  others  lost  their  smiles  and  sobered  down.  Mr.  Holmes  said : 

"Let  us  proceed  to  examine  into  this  fairy  tale  in  a  consecutive 
and  orderly  way  —  by  geometrical  progression,  so  to  speak  —  linking 


154  A    DOUBLE-BARRELLED    DETECTIVE    STORY 

detail  to  detail  in  a  steadily  advancing  and  remorselessly  consistent 
and  unassailable  march  upon  this  tinsel  toy  fortress  of  error,  the 
dream  fabric  of  a  callow  imagination.  To  begin  with,  young  sir, 
I  desire  to  ask  you  but  three  questions  at  present  —  at  present.  Did 
I  understand  you  to  say  it  was  your  opinion  that  the  supposititious 
candle  was  lighted  at  about  eight  o'clock  yesterday  evening?" 
"Yes,  sir  —  about  eight." 
"Could  you  say  exactly  eight?" 
"Well,  no,  I  couldn't  be  that  exact." 

"Um.  If  a  person  had  been  passing  along  there  just  about  that 
time,  he  would  have  been  almost  sure  to  encounter  that  assassin,  do 
you  think?" 

"Yes,  I  should  think  so." 

"Thank  you,  that  is  all.  For  the  present.  I  say,  all  for  the  present" 
"Dern  him!  He's  laying  for  Archy,"  said  Ferguson. 
"It's  so,"  said  Ham  Sandwich.  "I  don't  like  the  look  of  it." 
Stillman  said,  glancing  at  the  guest,  "I  was  along  there  myself  at 
half-past  eight  —  no,  about  nine." 

"In-deed?  This  is  interesting  —  this  is  very  interesting.  Perhaps 
you  encountered  the  assassin?" 
"No,  I  encountered  no  one." 

"Ah.  Then  —  if  you  will  excuse  the  remark  —  I  do  not  quite  see 
the  relevancy  of  the  information." 

"It  has  none.  At  present.  I  say  it  has  none  —  at  present." 
He  paused.  Presently  he  resumed:  "I  did  not  encounter  the  as- 
sassin, but  I  am  on  his  track,  I  am  sure,  for  I  believe  he  is  in  this 
room.  I  will  ask  you  all  to  pass  one  by  one  in  front  of  me  —  here, 
where  there  is  a  good  light  —  so  that  I  can  see  your  feet." 

A  buzz  of  excitement  swept  the  place,  and  the  march  began,  the 
guest  looking  on  with  an  iron  attempt  at  gravity  which  was  not  an 
unqualified  success.  Stillman  stooped,  shaded  his  eyes  with  his  hand, 
and  gazed  down  intently  at  each  pair  of  feet  as  it  passed.  Fifty  men 
tramped  monotonously  by --with  no  result.  Sixty.  Seventy.  The 
thing  was  beginning  to  look  absurd.  The  guest  remarked,  with 
suave  irony: 

"Assassins  appear  to  be  scarce  this  evening." 
The  house  saw  the  humor  of  it,  and  refreshed  itself  with  a  cordial 
laugh.  Ten  or  twelve  more  candidates  tramped  by  —  no,  danced  by, 


A    DOUBLE-BARRELLED    DETECTIVE    STORY  155 

with  airy  and  ridiculous  capers  which  convulsed  the  spectators  — 
then  suddenly  Stillman  put  out  his  hand  and  said: 

"This  is  the  assassin!" 

"Fetlock  Jones,  by  the  Great  Sanhedrim!"  roared  the  crowd;  and 
at  once  let  fly  a  pyrotechnic  explosion  and  dazzle  and  confusion  of 
stirring  remarks  inspired  by  the  situation. 

At  the  height  of  the  turmoil  the  guest  stretched  out  his  hand,  com- 
manding peace.  The  authority  of  a  great  name  and  a  great  personality 
laid  its  mysterious  compulsion  upon  the  house,  and  it  obeyed.  Out 
of  the  panting  calm  which  succeeded,  the  guest  spoke,  saying,  with 
dignity  and  feeling: 

"This  is  serious.  It  strikes  at  an  innocent  life.  Innocent  beyond 
suspicion!  Innocent  beyond  peradventure!  Hear  me  prove  it;  observe 
how  simple  a  fact  can  brush  out  of  existence  this  witless  lie.  Listen. 
My  friends,  that  lad  was  never  out  of  my  sight  yesterday  evening  at 
any  time!" 

It  made  a  deep  impression.  Men  turned  their  eyes  upon  Stillman 
with  grave  inquiry  in  them.  His  face  brightened,  and  he  said: 

"I  l(new  there  was  another  one!"  He  stepped  briskly  to  the  table 
and  glanced  at  the  guest's  feet,  then  up  at  his  face,  and  said:  "You 
were  with  him!  You  were  not  fifty  steps  from  him  when  he  lit  the 
candle  that  by  and  by  fired  the  powder!"  (Sensation.}  "And  what 
is  more,  you  furnished  the  matches  yourself!" 

Plainly  the  guest  seemed  hit;  it  looked  so  to  the  public.  He  opened 
his  mouth  to  speak;  the  words  did  not  come  freely. 

"This  —  er  —  this  is  insanity  —  this  - 

Stillman  pressed  his  evident  advantage  home.  He  held  up  a  charred 
match. 

"Here  is  one  of  them.  I  found  it  in  the  barrel  —  and  there's  another 
one  there." 

The  guest  found  his  voice  at  once. 

"Yes  —  and  put  them  there  yourself!" 

It  was  recognized  a  good  shot.  Stillman  retorted: 

"It  is  wax  —  a  breed  unknown  to  this  camp.  I  am  ready  to  be 
searched  for  the  box.  Are  you?" 

The  guest  was  staggered  this  time  —  the  dullest  eye  could  see  it. 
He  fumbled  with  his  hands;  once  or  twice  his  lips  moved,  but  the 
words  did  not  come.  The  house  waited  and  watched,  in  tense  sus- 


156  A    DOUBLE-BARRELLED    DETECTIVE    STORY 

pense,  the  stillness  adding  effect  to  the  situation.  Presently  Stillman 
said,  gently : 

"We  are  waiting  for  your  decision." 

There  was  silence  again  during  several  moments;  then  the  guest 
answered,  in  a  low  voice: 

"I  refuse  to  be  searched." 

There  was  no  noisy  demonstration,  but  all  about  the  house  one 
voice  after  another  muttered: 

"That  settles  it!  He's  Archy's  meat." 

What  to  do  now  ?  Nobody  seemed  to  know.  It  was  an  embarrassing 
situation  for  the  moment  —  merely,  of  course,  because  matters  had 
taken  such  a  sudden  and  unexpected  turn  that  these  unpractised 
minds  were  not  prepared  for  it,  and  had  come  to  a  standstill,  like  a 
stopped  clock,  under  the  shock.  But  after  a  little  the  machinery 
began  to  work  again,  tentatively,  and  by  twos  and  threes  the  men  put 
their  heads  together  and  privately  buzzed  over  this  and  that  and  the 
other  proposition.  One  of  these  propositions  met  with  much  favor; 
it  was,  to  confer  upon  the  assassin  a  vote  of  thanks  for  removing  Flint 
Buckner,  and  let  him  go.  But  the  cooler  heads  opposed  it,  pointing 
out  that  addled  brains  in  the  eastern  states  would  pronounce  it  a 
scandal,  and  make  no  end  of  foolish  noise  about  it.  Finally  the  cool 
heads  got  the  upper  hand,  and  obtained  general  consent  to  a  proposi- 
tion of  their  own;  their  leader  then  called  the  house  to  order  and 
stated  it  — to  this  effect:  that  Fetlock  Jones  be  jailed  and  put  upon 

trial. 

The  motion  was  carried.  Apparently  there  was  nothing  further  to 
do  now,  and  the  people  were  glad,  for,  privately,  they  were  impatient 
to  get  out  and  rush  to  the  scene  of  the  tragedy,  and  see  whether  that 
barrel  and  the  other  things  were  really  there  or  not. 

But  no  _  the  breakup  got  a  check.  The  surprises  were  not  over 
yet.  For  a  while  Fetlock  Jones  had  been  silently  sobbing,  unnoticed 
in  the  absorbing  excitements  which  had  been  following  one  another 
so  persistently  for  some  time;  but  when  -his  arrest  and  trial  were 
decreed,  he  broke  out  despairingly,  and  said : 

"No!  It's  no  use.  I  don't  want  any  jail,  I  don't  want  any  trial;  I've 
had  all  the  hard  luck  I  want,  and  all  the  miseries.  Hang  me  now,  and 
let  me  out!  It  would  all  come  out,  anyway  —  there  couldn't  anything 
save  me.  He  has  told  it  all,  just  as  if  he'd  been  with  me  and  seen  it 


A    DOUBLE-BARRELLED    DETECTIVE    STORY  157 

—  /  don't  know  how  he  found  out;  and  you'll  find  the  barrel  and 
things,  and  then  I  wouldn't  have  any  chance  any  more.  I  killed  him; 
and  you'd  have  done  it  too,  if  he'd  treated  you  like  a  dog,  and  you 
only  a  boy,  and  weak  and  poor,  and  not  a  friend  to  help  you." 

"And  served  him  damned  well  right!"  broke  in  Ham  Sandwich. 
"Looky  here,  boys  - 

From  the  constable:  "Order!  Order,  gentlemen!" 

A  voice:  "Did  your  uncle  know  what  you  was  up  to?" 

"No,  he  didn't." 

"Did  he  give  you  the  matches,  sure  enough?" 

"Yes,  he  did;  but  he  didn't  know  what  I  wanted  them  for." 

"When  you  was  out  on  such  a  business  as  that,  how  did  you 
venture  to  risk  having  him  along  —  and  him  a  detective?  How's 
that?" 

The  boy  hesitated,  fumbled  with  his  buttons  in  an  embarrassed  way, 
then  said,  shyly: 

"I  know  about  detectives,  on  account  of  having  them  in  the  family; 
and  if  you  don't  want  them  to  find  out  about  a  thing,  it's  best  to  have 
them  around  when  you  do  it." 

The  cyclone  of  laughter  which  greeted  this  naive  discharge  of 
wisdom  did  not  modify  the  poor  little  waif's  embarrassment  in  any 
large  degree. 

CHAPTER  VIII 
From  a  letter  to  Mrs.  Stillman,  dated  merely  "Tuesday." 

Fetlock  Jones  was  put  under  lock  and  key  in  an  unoccupied  log 
cabin,  and  left  there  to  await  his  trial.  Constable  Harris  provided 
him  with  a  couple  of  days'  rations,  instructed  him  to  keep  a  good 
guard  over  himself,  and  promised  to  look  in  on  him  as  soon  as  further 
supplies  should  be  due. 

Next  morning  a  score  of  us  went  with  Hillyer,  out  of  friendship, 
and  helped  him  bury  his  late  relative,  the  unlamented  Buckner,  and  I 
acted  as  first  assistant  pallbearer,  Hillyer  acting  as  chief.  Just  as  we 
had  finished  our  labors  a  ragged  and  melancholy  stranger,  carrying 
an  old  handbag,  limped  by  with  his  head  down,  and  I  caught  the 
scent  I  had  chased  around  the  globe!  It  was  the  odor  of  paradise  to 
my  perishing  hope! 

In  a  moment  I  was  at  his  side  and  had  laid  a  gentle  hand  upon  his 
shoulder.  He  slumped  to  the  ground  as  if  a  stroke  of  lightning  had 


158  A    DOUBLE-BARRELLED    DETECTIVE    STORY 

withered  him  in  his  tracks;  and  as  the  boys  came  running  he  strug- 
gled to  his  knees  and  put  up  his  pleading  hands  to  me,  and  out  of 
his  chattering  jaws  he  begged  me  to  persecute  him  no  more,  and  said: 
"You  have  hunted  me  around  the  world,  Sherlock  Holmes,  yet 
God  is  my  witness  I  have  never  done  any  man  harm!" 

A  glance  at  his  wild  eyes  showed  us  that  he  was  insane.  That  was 
my  work,  Mother!  The  tidings  of  your  death  can  someday  repeat 
the  misery  I  felt  in  that  moment,  but  nothing  else  can  ever  do  it. 
The  boys  lifted  him  up,  and  gathered  about  him,  and  were  full  of 
pity  of  him,  and  said  the  gentlest  and  touchingest  things  to  him,  and 
said  cheer  up  and  don't  be  troubled,  he  was  among  friends  now,  and 
they  would  take  care  of  him,  and  protect  him,  and  hang  any  man  that 
laid  a  hand  on  him.  They  are  just  like  so  many  mothers,  the  rough 
mining-camp  boys  are,  when  you  wake  up  the  south  side  of  their 
hearts;  yes,  and  just  like  so  many  reckless  and  unreasoning  children 
when  you  wake  up  the  opposite  of  that  muscle.  They  did  everything 
they  could  think  of  to  comfort  him,  but  nothing  succeeded  until 
Wells-Fargo  Ferguson,  who  is  a  clever  strategist,  said: 

"If  it's  only  Sherlock  Holmes  that's  troubling  you,  you  needn't 
worry  any  more." 

"Why?"  asked  the  forlorn  lunatic,  eagerly. 

"Because  he's  dead  again." 

"Dead!  Dead!  Oh,  don't  trifle  with  a  poor  wreck  like  me.  Is  he 
dead?  On  honor,  now-- is  he  telling  me  true,  boys?" 

"True  as  you're  standing  there!"  said  Ham  Sandwich,  and  they 
all  backed  up  the  statement  in  a  body. 

"They  hung  him  in  San  Bernardino  last  week,"  added  Ferguson, 
clinching  the  matter,  "whilst  he  was  searching  around  after  you. 
Mistook  him  for  another  man.  They're  sorry,  but  they  can't  help  it 

now." 

"They're  a-building  him  a  monument,"  said  Ham  Sandwich,  with 
the  air  of  a  person  who  had  contributed  to  it,  and  knew. 

"James  Walker"  drew  a  deep  sigh  —  evidently  a  sigh  of  relief  — 
and  said  nothing;  but  his  eyes  lost  something  of  their  wildness,  his 
countenance  cleared  visibly,  and  its  drawn  look  relaxed  a  little.  We 
all  went  to  our  cabin,  and  the  boys  cooked  him  the  best  dinner  the 
camp  could  furnish  the  materials  for,  and  while  they  were  about  it 
Hillyer  and  I  outfitted  him  from  hat  to  shoe  leather  with  new 
clothes  of  ours,  and  made  a  comely  and  presentable  old  gentleman 
of  him.  "Old"  is  the  right  word,  and  a  pity,  too:  old  by  the  droop  of 
him,  and  the  frost  upon  his  hair,  and  the  marks  which  sorrow  and 
distress  have  left  upon  his  face;  though  he  is  only  in  his  prime  in  the 


A    DOUBLE-BARRELLED    DETECTIVE    STORY  159 

matter  of  years.  While  he  ate,  we  smoked  and  chatted;  and  when  he 
was  finishing  he  found  his  voice  at  last,  and  of  his  own  accord  broke 
out  with  his  personal  history.  I  cannot  furnish  his  exact  words,  but  I 
will  come  as  near  it  as  I  can. 

THE  "WRONG  MAN'S"  STORY 

It  happened  like  this:  I  was  in  Denver.  I  had  been  there  many 
years;  sometimes  I  remember  how  many,  sometimes  I  don't  —  but 
it  isn't  any  matter.  All  of  a  sudden  I  got  a  notice  to  leave,  or  I  would 
be  exposed  for  a  horrible  crime  committed  long  before  —  years  and 
years  before  —  in  the  East. 

I  knew  about  that  crime,  but  I  was  not  the  criminal;  it  was  a  cousin 
of  mine  of  the  same  name.  What  should  I  better  do?  My  head  was 
all  disordered  by  fear,  and  I  didn't  know.  I  was  allowed  very  little 
time  —  only  one  day,  I  think  it  was.  I  would  be  ruined  if  I  was  pub- 
lished, and  the  people  would  lynch  me,  and  not  believe  what  I  said. 
It  is  always  the  way  with  lynchings:  when  they  find  out  it  is  a  mis- 
take they  are  sorry,  but  it  is  too  late  —  the  same  as  it  was  with  Mr. 
Holmes,  you  see.  So  I  said  I  would  sell  out  and  get  money  to  live 
on,  and  run  away  until  it  blew  over  and  I  could  come  back  with  my 
proofs.  Then  I  escaped  in  the  night  and  went  a  long  way  off  in  the 
mountains  somewhere,  and  lived  disguised  and  had  a  false  name. 

I  got  more  and  more  troubled  and  worried,  and  my  troubles  made 
me  see  spirits  and  hear  voices,  and  I  could  not  think  straight  and 
clear  on  any  subject,  but  got  confused  and  involved  and  had  to  give 
it  up,  because  my  head  hurt  so.  It  got  to  be  worse  and  worse;  more 
spirits  and  more  voices.  They  were  about  me  all  the  time;  at  first  only 
in  the  night,  then  in  the  day  too.  They  were  always  whispering 
around  my  bed  and  plotting  against  me,  and  it  broke  my  sleep  and 
kept  me  fagged  out,  because  I  got  no  good  rest. 

And  then  came  the  worst.  One  night  the  whispers  said,  "We'll 
never  manage,  because  we  can't  see  him,  and  so  can't  point  him  out 
to  the  people." 

They  sighed;  then  one  said:  "We  must  bring  Sherlock  Holmes. 
He  can  be  here  in  twelve  days." 

They  all  agreed,  and  whispered  and  jibbered  with  joy.  But  my 
heart  broke;  for  I  had  read  about  that  man,  and  knew  what  it  would 
be  to  have  him  upon  my  track,  with  his  superhuman  penetration 
and  tireless  energies. 

The  spirits  went  away  to  fetch  him,  and  I  got  up  at  once  in  the 
middle  of  the  night  and  fled  away,  carrying  nothing  but  the  hand- 
bag that  had  my  money  in  it  —  thirty  thousand  dollars;  two-thirds 


l6o  A    DOUBLE-BARRELLED    DETECTIVE    STORY 

of  it  are  in  the  bag  there  yet.  It  was  forty  days  before  that  man 
caught  up  on  my  track.  I  just  escaped.  From  habit  he  had  written 
his  real  name  on  a  tavern  register,  but  had  scratched  it  out  and  writ- 
ten Dagget  Barclay  in  the  place  of  it.  But  fear  gives  you  a  watchful 
eye  and  keen,  and  I  read  the  true  name  through  the  scratches,  and 
fled  like  a  deer. 

He  has  hunted  me  all  over  this  world  for  three  years  and  a  half  — 
the  Pacific  states,  Australasia,  India  —  everywhere  you  can  think  of; 
then  back  to  Mexico  and  up  to  California  again,  giving  me  hardly 
any  rest;  but  that  name  on  the  registers  always  saved  me,  and  what 
is  left  of  me  is  alive  yet.  And  I  am  so  tired!  A  cruel  time  he  has  given 
me,  yet  I  give  you  my  honor  I  have  never  harmed  him  nor  any  man. 

That  was  the  end  of  the  story,  and  it  stirred  those  boys  to  blood 
heat,  be  sure  of  it.  As  for  me  —  each  word  burnt  a  hole  in  me  where 
it  struck. 

We  voted  that  the  old  man  should  bunk  with  us,  and  be  my  guest 
and  Hillyer's.  I  shall  keep  my  own  counsel,  naturally;  but  as  soon 
as  he  is  well  rested  and  nourished,  I  shall  take  him  to  Denver  and 
rehabilitate  his  fortunes. 

The  boys  gave  the  old  fellow  the  bone-smashing  goodfellowship 
handshake  of  the  mines,  and  then  scattered  away  to  spread  the  news- 

At  dawn  next  morning  Wells-Fargo  Ferguson  and  Ham  Sand- 
wich called  us  softly  out,  and  said,  privately: 

"That  news  about  the  way  that  old  stranger  has  been  treated  has 
spread  all  around,  and  the  camps  are  up.  They  are  piling  in  from 
everywhere,  and  are  going  to  lynch  the  p'fessor.  Constable  Harris  is 
in  a  dead  funk,  and  has  telephoned  the  sheriff.  Come  along!" 

We  started  on  a  run.  The  others  were  privileged  to  feel  as  they 
chose,  but  in  my  heart's  privacy  I  hoped  the  sheriff  would  arrive  in 
time;  for  I  had  small  desire  that  Sherlock  Holmes  should  hang  for 
my  deeds,  as  you  can  easily  believe.  I  had  heard  a  good  deal  about 
the  sheriff,  but  for  reassurance's  sake  I  asked: 

"Can  he  stop  a  mob?" 

"Can  he  stop  a  mob!  Can  Jack  Fairfax  stop  a  mob!  Well,  I  should 
smile!  Ex-desperado  —  nineteen  scalps  on  his  string.  Can  he!  Oh, 

I/» 
say! 

As  we  tore  up  the  gulch,  distant  cries  and  shouts  and  yells  rose 
faintly  on  the  still  air,  and  grew  steadily  in  strength  as  we  raced 
along.  Roar  after  roar  burst  out,  stronger  and  stronger,  nearer  and 
nearer;  and  at  last,  when  we  closed  up  upon  the  multitude  massed 


A    DOUBLE-BARRELLED    DETECTIVE    STORY  l6l 

in  the  open  area  in  front  of  the  tavern,  the  crash  of  sound  was  deaf- 
ening. Some  brutal  roughs  from  Daly's  gorge  had  Holmes  in  their 
grip,  and  he  was  calmest  man  there;  a  contemptuous  smile  played 
about  his  lips,  and  if  any  fear  of  death  was  in  his  British  heart,  his 
iron  personality  was  master  of  it  and  no  sign  of  it  was  allowed  to 
appear. 

"Come  to  a  vote,  men!"  This  from  one  of  the  Daly  gang,  Shad- 
belly  Higgins.  "Quick!  Is  it  hang,  or  shoot?" 

"Neither!"  shouted  one  of  his  comrades.  "He'd  be  alive  again  in 
a  week;  burning's  the  only  permanency  for  him." 

The  gangs  from  all  the  outlying  camps  burst  out  in  a  thunder 
crash  of  approval,  and  went  struggling  and  surging  toward  the 
prisoner,  and  closed  about  him,  shouting,  "Fire!  Fire's  the  ticket!" 
They  dragged  him  to  the  horse  post,  backed  him  against  it,  chained 
him  to  it,  and  piled  wood  and  pine  cones  around  him  waist-deep. 
Still  the  strong  face  did  not  blench,  and  still  the  scornful  smile  played 
about  the  thin  lips. 

"A  match!  Fetch  a  match!" 

Shadbelly  struck  it,  shaded  it  with  his  hand,  stooped,  and  held  it 
under  a  pine  cone.  A  deep  silence  fell  upon  the  mob.  The  cone 
caught,  a  tiny  flame  flickered  about  it  a  moment  or  two.  I  seemed 
to  catch  the  sound  of  distant  hoofs  —  it  grew  more  distinct  —  still 
more  and  more  distinct,  more  and  more  definite,  but  the  absorbed 
crowd  did  not  appear  to  notice  it.  The  match  went  out.  The  man 
struck  another,  stooped,  and  again  the  flame  rose;  this  time  it  took 
hold  and  began  to  spread  —  here  and  there  men  turned  away  their 
faces.  The  executioner  stood  with  the  charred  match  in  his  fingers, 
watching  his  work.  The  hoof-beats  turned  a  projecting  crag,  and  now 
they  came  thundering  down  upon  us.  Almost  the  next  moment  there 
was  a  shout: 

"The  sheriff!" 

And  straightway  he  came  tearing  into  the  midst,  stood  his  horse 
almost  on  his  hind  feet,  and  said: 

"Fall  back,  you  gutter-snipes!" 

He  was  obeyed.  By  all  but  the  leader.  He  stood  his  ground,  and 
his  hand  went  to  his  revolver.  The  sheriff  covered  him  promptly, 
and  said: 

"Drop  your  hand,  you  parlor  desperado.  Kick  the  fire  away.  Now 
unchain  the  stranger." 

The  parlor  desperado  obeyed.  Then  the  sheriff  made  a  speech;  sit- 
ting his  horse  at  martial  ease,  and  not  warming  his  words  with  any 


l62  A    DOUBLE-BARRELLED    DETECTIVE    STORY 

touch  of  fire,  but  delivering  them  in  a  measured  and  deliberate  way, 
and  in  a  tone  which  harmonized  with  their  character  and  made  them 
impressively  disrespectful. 

"You're  a  nice  lot  —  now  ain't  you?  Just  about  eligible  to  travel 
with  this  bilk  here  —  Shadbelly  Higgins  —  this  loud-mouthed  sneak 
that  shoots  people  in  the  back  and  calls  himself  a  desperado.  ^  If 
there's  anything  I  do  particularly  despise,  it's  a  lynching  mob;  I've 
never  seen  one  that  had  a  man  in  it.  It  has  to  tally  up  a  hundred 
against  one  before  it  can  pump  up  pluck  enough  to  tackle  a  sick 
tailor.  It's  made  up  of  cowards,  and  so  is  the  community  that  breeds 
it;  and  ninety-nine  times  out  of  a  hundred  the  sheriff's  another  one." 
He  paused  —  apparently  to  turn  that  last  idea  over  in  his  mind  and 
taste  the  juice  of  it  — then  he  went  on:  "The  sheriff  that  lets  a  mob 
take  a  prisoner  away  from  him  is  the  lowest-down  coward  there  is. 
By  the  statistics  there  was  a  hundred  and  eighty-two  of  them  draw- 
ing sneak  pay  in  America  last  year.  By  the  way  it's  going,  pretty  soon 
there'll  be  a  new  disease  in  the  doctor-books  —  sheriff  complaint!" 
That  idea   pleased   him  — anyone  could   see  it.   "People  will   say, 
'Sheriff  sick  again?'  'Yes;  got  the  same  old  thing.'  And  next  there'll 
be  a  new  title.  People  won't  say,  'He's  running  for  sheriff  of  Rapaho 
County,'   for   instance;   they'll   say,  'He's  running  for   Coward  of 
Rapaho.'  Lord,  the  idea  of  a  grown-up  person  being  afraid  of  a  lynch 

mob!" 

He  turned  an"  eye  on  the  captive,  and  said,  "Stranger,  who  are  you, 

and  what  have  you  been  doing?" 

"My  name  is  Sherlock  Holmes,  and  I  have  not  been  doing  any- 
thing." 

It  was  wonderful,  the  impression  which  the  sound  of  that  name 
made  on  the  sheriff,  notwithstanding  he  must  have  come  posted. 
He  spoke  up  with  feeling,  and  said  it  was  a  blot  on  the  country  that 
a  man  whose  marvelous  exploits  had  filled  the  world  with  their  fame 
and  their  ingenuity,  and  whose  histories  of  them  had  won  every 
reader's  heart  by  the  brilliancy  and  charm  of  their  literary  setting, 
should  be  visited  under  the  Stars  and  Stripes  by  an  outrage  like  this. 
He  apologized  in  the  name  of  the  whole  nation,  and  made  Holmes 
a  most  handsome  bow,  and  told  Constable  Harris  to  see  him  to  his 
quarters,  and  hold  himself  personally  responsible  if  he  was  molested 
again.  Then  he  turned  to  the  mob  and  said: 

"Hunt  your  holes,  you  scum!"  which  they  did;  then  he  said:  "Fol- 
low me,  Shadbelly;  I'll  take  care  of  your  case  myself.  No  — keep 
your  pop-gun;  whenever  I  see  the  day  that  I'll  be  afraid  to  have 
you  behind  me  with  that  thing,  it'll  be  time  for  me  to  join  last  year's 


A    DOUBLE-BARRELLED   DETECTIVE    STORY  163 

hundred  and  eighty-two";  and  he  rode  off  in  a  walk,  Shadbelly  fol- 
lowing. 

When  we  were  on  our  way  back  to  our  cabin,  toward  breakfast 
time,  we  ran  upon  the  news  that  Fetlock  Jones  had  escaped  from 
his  lockup  in  the  night  and  is  gone!  Nobody  is  sorry.  Let  his  uncle 
track  him  out  if  he  likes;  it  is  in  his  line;  the  camp  is  not  interested. 

CHAPTER  IX 
Ten  days  later: 

"James  Walker"  is  all  right  in  body  now,  and  his  mind  shows  im- 
provement too.  I  start  with  him  for  Denver  tomorrow  morning. 

NEXT   NIGHT.    BRIEF  NOTE,    MAILED   AT   A   WAY    STATION 

As  we  were  starting,  this  morning,  Hillyer  whispered  to  me: 
"Keep  this  news  from  Walker  until  you  think  it  safe  and  not  likely 
to  disturb  his  mind  and  check  his  improvement:  the  ancient  crime 
he  spoke  of  was  really  committed  —  and  by  his  cousin,  as  he  said. 
We  buried  the  real  criminal  the  other  day  —  the  unhappiest  man 
that  has  lived  in  a  century  —  Flint  Buckner.  His  real  name  was 
Jacob  Fuller!"  There,  Mother,  by  help  of  me,  an  unwitting  mourner, 
your  husband  and  my  father  is  in  his  grave.  Let  him  rest. 


Detective:  HEMLOCK  JONES 


THE   STOLEN   CIGAR   CASE 
by  BRET  HARTE 


Bret  Harte' s  famous  burlesque,  from  CONDENSED  NOVELS:  Second 
Series  (London,  Chatto  &•  Windus,  1902;  Boston,  Houghton, 
Mifflin,  1902),  is  one  of  the  most  devastating  parodies  ever  per- 
petrated on  The  Great  Man.  Consider  the  opening  two  sen- 
tences: "/  found  HemlocJ^  Jones  in  the  old  Broo^  Street  lodg- 
ings, musing  before  the  fire.  With  the  freedom  of  an  old  friend 
I  at  once  threw  myself  in  my  usual  familiar  attitude  at  his  feet, 
and  gently  caressed  his  boot." 

Bret  Harte  was  a  shrewd  parodist.  He  was  not  content  with 
mere  exaggeration.  He  backboned  his  satire  with  a  novel  plot- 
idea.  For  in  this  tale  Hemloc\  Jones,  The  Great  Detective,  w 
himself  the  victim  of  a  crime!  Yes,  "The  Terror  of  Peculators" 
has  himself  been  robbed! 

But  trust  Hemloc\  to  avenge  his  humiliated  honor.  Fear- 
lessly HemlocV  takes  the  matter  in  his  own  hands  and,  as  the 
narrator  points  out  so  irrefutably,  "Where  could  you  find  bet- 
ter?" After  all,  Hemloc\  Jones  represents  the  "absolute  con- 
catenation of  inductive  and  deductive  ratiocination" 

The  Editors  wish  to  call  your  attention  to  a  critical  facet  of 
this  parody  which,  so  far  as  your  Editors  know,  has  never  before 
been  exposed.  It  will  come  as  a  great  shoc{  to  some  of  you.  In 
7926  Agatha  Christie  created  a  furore,  among  addicts  and 
dabblers  ali\e,  when  she  unmasked  the  murderer  of  Roger 
Ac\royd  as  the  most  least-lively  of  all  least-lively  suspects.  But 
Bret  Harte,  through  the  "superhuman  insight"  of  Hemloc\ 
Jones,  anticipated  Miss  Christie's  exact  device  by  no  less  than 
twenty-four  years! 

There  are  differences  and  discrepancies,  of  course,  but  in  the 
spirit  of  good  fun  your  Editors  are  prepared  to  defend  the  basic 
accuracy  of  this  "revelation." 


THE    STOLEN    CIGAR    CASE  165 


I 


FOUND  HEMLOCK  JONES  in  the  old  Brook  Street  lodgings,  musing 
before  the  fire.  With  the  freedom  of  an  old  friend  I  at  once  threw 
myself  in  my  usual  familiar  attitude  at  his  feet,  and  gently  caressed 
his  boot.  I  was  induced  to  do  this  for  two  reasons :  one,  that  it  enabled 
me  to  get  a  good  look  at  his  bent,  concentrated  face,  and  the  other, 
that  it  seemed  to  indicate  my  reverence  for  his  superhuman  insight. 
So  absorbed  was  he  even  then,  in  tracking  some  mysterious  clue, 
that  he  did  not  seem  to  notice  me.  But  therein  I  was  wrong  —  as  I 
always  was  in  my  attempt  to  understand  that  powerful  intellect. 

"It  is  raining,"  he  said,  without  lifting  his  head. 

"You  have  been  out,  then?"  I  said  quickly. 

"No.  But  I  see  that  your  umbrella  is  wet,  and  that  your  overcoat 
has  drops  of  water  on  it." 

I  sat  aghast  at  his  penetration.  After  a  pause  he  said  carelessly,  as 
if  dismissing  the  subject:  "Besides,  I  hear  the  rain  on  the  window. 
Listen." 

I  listened.  I  could  scarcely  credit  my  ears,  but  there  was  the  soft 
pattering  of  drops  on  the  panes.  It  was  evident  there  was  no  deceiving 
this  man! 

"Have  you  been  busy  lately?"  I  asked,  changing  the  subject.  "What 
new  problem  —  given  up  by  Scotland  Yard  as  inscrutable  —  has  oc- 
cupied that  gigantic  intellect?" 

He  drew  back  his  foot  slightly,  and  seemed  to  hesitate  ere  he  re- 
turned it  to  its  original  position.  Then  he  answered  wearily:  "Mere 
trifles  —  nothing  to  speak  of.  The  Prince  Kupoli  has  been  here  to 
get  my  advice  regarding  the  disappearance  of  certain  rubies  from  the 
Kremlin;  the  Rajah  of  Pootibad,  after  vainly  beheading  his  entire 
bodyguard,  has  been  obliged  to  seek  my  assistance  to  recover  a  jeweled 
sword.  The  Grand  Duchess  of  Pretzel-Brauntswig  is  desirous  of 
discovering  where  her  husband  was  on  the  night  of  February  14; 
and  last  night  —  "  he  lowered  his  voice  slightly  —  "a  lodger  in  this 
very  house,  meeting  me  on  the  stairs,  wanted  to  know  why  they 
didn't  answer  his  bell." 

I  could  not  help  smiling  —  until  I  saw  a  frown  gathering  on  his 
inscrutable  forehead. 

"Pray  remember,"  he  said  coldly,  "that  it  was  through  just  such  an 


THE    STOLEN    CIGAR    CASE 


apparently  trivial  question  that  I  found  out  Why  Paul  Ferroll  Killed 
His  Wife,  and  What  Happened  to  Jones!" 

I  became  dumb  at  once.  He  paused  for  a  moment,  and  then  sud- 
denly changing  back  to  his  usual  pitiless,  analytical  style,  he  said: 
"When  I  say  these  are  trifles,  they  are  so  in  comparison  to  an  affair 
that  is  now  before  me.  A  crime  has  been  committed  —  and,  singularly 
enough,  against  myself.  You  start,"  he  said.  "You  wonder  who  would 
have  dared  to  attempt  it.  So  did  I;  nevertheless,  it  has  been  done.  / 
have  been  robbed!" 

"You  robbed!  You,  Hemlock  Jones,  the  Terror  of  Peculators!" 
I  gasped  in  amazement,  arising  and  gripping  the  table  as  I  faced  him. 

"Yes!  Listen.  I  would  confess  it  to  no  other.  But  you  who  have  fol- 
lowed my  career,  who  know  my  methods;  you,  for  whom  I  have 
partly  lifted  the  veil  that  conceals  my  plans  from  ordinary  humanity 
—  you,  who  have  for  years  rapturously  accepted  my  confidences, 
passionately  admired  my  inductions  and  inferences,  placed  yourself 
at  my  beck  and  call,  become  my  slave,  groveled  at  my  feet,  given  up 
your  practice  except  those  few  unremunerative  and  rapidly  decreasing 
patients  to  whom,  in  moments  of  abstraction  over  my  problems,  you 
have  administered  strychnine  for  quinine  and  arsenic  for  Epsom 
salts;  you,  who  have  sacrificed  anything  and  everybody  to  me  —  you 
I  make  my  confidant!" 

I  arose  and  embraced  him  warmly,  yet  he  was  already  so  engrossed 
in  thought  that  at  the  same  moment  he  mechanically  placed  his 
hand  upon  his  watch  chain  as  if  to  consult  the  time.  "Sit  down," 
he  said.  "Have  a  cigar?" 

"I  have  given  up  cigar  smoking,"  I  said. 

"Why?"  he  asked. 

I  hesitated,  and  perhaps  colored.  I  had  really  given  it  up  because, 
with  my  diminished  practice,  it  was  too  expensive.  I  could  afford 
only  a  pipe.  "I  prefer  a  pipe,"  I  said  laughingly.  "But  tell  me  of  this 
robbery.  What  have  you  lost?" 

He  arose,  and  planting  himself  before  the  fire  with  his  hands  under 
his  coat-tails,  looked  down  upon  me  reflectively  for  a  moment.  "Do 
you  remember  the  cigar  case  presented  to  me  by  the  Turkish  ambas- 
sador for  discovering  the  missing  favorite  of  the  Grand  Vizier  in 
the  fifth  chorus  girl  at  the  Hilarity  Theater  ?  It  was  that  one.  I  mean 
the  cigar  case.  It  was  incrusted  with  diamonds." 


THE    STOLEN    CIGAR    CASE  l6y 

"And  the  largest  one  had  been  supplanted  by  paste,"  I  said. 

"Ah,"  he  said,  with  a  reflective  smile,  "you  know  that?" 

"You  told  me  yourself.  I  remember  considering  it  a  proof  of  your 
extraordinary  perception.  But,  by  Jove,  you  don't  mean  to  say  you 
have  lost  it?" 

He  was  silent  for  a  moment.  "No:  it  has  been  stolen,  it  is  true,  but 
I  shall  still  find  it.  And  by  myself  alone!  In  your  profession,  my  dear 
fellow,  when  a  member  is  seriously  ill,  he  does  not  prescribe  for  him- 
self, but  calls  in  a  brother  doctor.  Therein  we  differ.  I  shall  take  this 
matter  in  my  own  hands." 

"And  where  could  you  find  better?"  I  said  enthusiastically.  "I 
should  say  the  cigar  case  is  as  good  as  recovered  already." 

"I  shall  remind  you  of  that  again,"  he  said  lightly.  "And  now,  to 
show  you  my  confidence  in  your  judgment,  in  spite  of  my  determina- 
tion to  pursue  this  alone,  I  am  willing  to  listen  to  any  suggestions  from 
you." 

He  drew  a  memorandum  book  from  his  pocket  and,  with  a  grave 
smile,  took  up  his  pencil. 

I  could  scarcely  believe  my  senses.  He,  the  great  Hemlock  Jones, 
accepting  suggestions  from  a  humble  individual  like  myself!  I  kissed 
his  hand  reverently,  and  began  in  a  joyous  tone: 

"First,  I  should  advertise,  offering  a  reward;  I  should  give  the 
same  intimation  in  handbills,  distributed  at  the  'pubs'  and  the  pastry 
cooks'.  I  should  next  visit  the  different  pawnbrokers;  I  should  give 
notice  at  the  police  station.  I  should  examine  the  servants.  I  should 
thoroughly  search  the  house  and  my  own  pockets.  I  speak  relatively," 
I  added,  with  a  laugh.  "Of  course  I  mean  your  own." 

He  gravely  made  an  entry  of  these  details. 

"Perhaps,"  I  added,  "you  have  already  done  this?" 

"Perhaps,"  he  returned  enigmatically.  "Now,  my  dear  friend," 
he  continued,  putting  the  notebook  in  his  pocket  and  rising,  "would 
you  excuse  me  for  a  few  moments  ?  Make  yourself  perfectly  at  home 
until  I  return;  there  may  be  some  things,"  he  added  with  a  sweep  of 
his  hand  toward  his  heterogeneously  filled  shelves,  "that  may  interest 
you  and  while  away  the  time.  There  are  pipes  and  tobacco  in  that 
corner." 

Then  nodding  to  me  with  the  same  inscrutable  face  he  left  the 
room.  I  was  too  well  accustomed  to  his  methods  to  think  much  of 


THE    STOLEN    CIGAR    CASE 

his  unceremonious  withdrawal,  and  made  no  doubt  he  was  off  to 
investigate  some  clue  which  had  suddenly  occurred  to  his  active  intel- 
ligence. 

Left  to  myself  I  cast  a  cursory  glance  over  his  shelves.  There  were 
a  number  of  small  glass  jars  containing  earthy  substances,  labeled 
PAVEMENT  AND  ROAD  SWEEPINGS,  from  the  principal  thoroughfares  and 
suburbs  of  London,  with  the  subdirections  FOR  IDENTIFYING  FOOT 
TRACKS.  There  were  several  other  jars,  labeled  FLUFF  FROM  OMNIBUS 
AND  ROAD-CAR  SEATS,  COCONUT  FIBER  AND  ROPE  STRANDS  FROM  MAT- 
TINGS IN  PUBLIC  PLACES,  CIGARETTE  STUMPS  AND  MATCH  ENDS  FROM 
FLOOR  OF  PALACE  THEATRE,  Row  A,  i  TO  50.  Everywhere  were  evi- 
dences of  this  wonderful  man's  system  and  perspicacity. 

I  was  thus  engaged  when  I  heard  the  slight  creaking  of  a  door,  and 
I  looked  up  as  a  stranger  entered.  He  was  a  rough-looking  man,  with 
a  shabby  overcoat  and  a  still  more  disreputable  muffler  around  his 
throat  and  the  lower  part  of  his  face.  Considerably  annoyed  at  his 
intrusion,  I  turned  upon  him  rather  sharply,  when,  with  a  mumbled, 
growling  apology  for  mistaking  the  room,  he  shuffled  out  again  and 
closed  the  door.  I  followed  him  quickly  to  the  landing  and  saw  that 
he  disappeared  down  the  stairs.  With  my  mind  full  of  the  robbery, 
the  incident  made  a  singular  impression  upon  me.  I  knew  my  friend's 
habit  of  hasty  absences  from  his  room  in  his  moments  of  deep  inspira- 
tion; it  was  only  too  probable  that,  with  his  powerful  intellect  and 
magnificent  perceptive  genius  concentrated  on  one  subject,  he  should 
be  careless  of  his  own  belongings,  and  no  doubt  even  forget  to  take 
the  ordinary  precaution  of  locking  up  his  drawers.  I  tried  one  or 
two  and  found  that  I  was  right,  although  for  some  reason  I  was  un- 
able to  open  one  to  its  fullest  extent.  The  handles  were  sticky,  as  if 
someone  had  opened  it  with  dirty  fingers.  Knowing  Hemlock's 
fastidious  cleanliness,  I  resolved  to  inform  him  of  this  circumstance, 
but  I  forgot  it,  alas!  until  — but  I  am  anticipating  my  story. 

His  absence  was  strangely  prolonged.  I  at  last  seated  myself  by 
the  fire  and,  lulled  by  warmth  and  the  patter  of  the  rain,  fell  asleep. 
I  may  have  dreamt,  for  during  my  sleep  I  had  a  vague  semiconscious- 
ness  as  of  hands  being  softly  pressed  on  my  pockets -no  doubt  in- 
duced by  the  story  of  the  robbery.  When  I  came  fully  to  my  senses, 
I  found  Hemlock  Jones  sitting  on  the  other  side  of  the  hearth,  his 
deeply  concentrated  gaze  fixed  on  the  fire. 


THE    STOLEN    CIGAR   CASE 

-I  found  you  so  comfortably  asleep  that  I  could  not  bear  to  awaken 
y^^'^t  news?"  I  asked.  "How  have  you 
than  I  expected,"  he  sa,d,  "and  I  think,"  he  added,  tapping 

' 


hoe  to  the  cuff  w.th  his  deft  fingers.  "Come  agam  soon!    he  said, 

ally;  "I  only  ask  ten 


know." 


'iT'is  indeed,"  he  said,  with  his  impenetrable  smile, 
a TmbourTne.  Of  course  to  others  the  disguise  was  perfect,  although 


THE    STOLEN    CIGAR    CASE  Ijl 

the  disguise  of  a  broken-down  artisan,  looking  into  the  window  of  an 
adjacent  pawnshop.  I  was  delighted  to  see  that  he  was  evidendy  fol- 
lowing my  suggestions,  and  in  my  joy  I  ventured  to  tip  him  a  wink; 
it  was  abstractedly  returned. 

Two  days  later  I  received  a  note  appointing  a  meeting  at  his 
lodgings  that  night.  That  meeting,  alas!  was  the  one  memorable  oc- 
currence of  my  life,  and  the  last  meeting  I  ever  had  with  Hemlock 
Jones!  I  will  try  to  set  it  down  calmly,  though  my  pulses  still  throb 
with  the  recollection  of  it. 

I  found  him  standing  before  the  fire,  with  that  look  upon  his  face 
which  I  had  seen  only  once  or  twice  —  a  look  which  I  may  call  an 
absolute  concatenation  of  inductive  and  deductive  ratiocination  — 
from  which  all  that  was  human,  tender,  or  sympathetic  was  absolutely 
discharged.  He  was  simply  an  icy  algebraic  symbol! 

After  I  had  entered  he  locked  the  doors,  fastened  the  window,  and 
even  placed  a  chair  before  the  chimney.  As  I  watched  these  significant 
precautions  with  absorbing  interest,  he  suddenly  drew  a  revolver 
and,  presenting  it  to  my  temple,  said  in  low,  icy  tones: 

"Hand  over  that  cigar  case!" 

Even  in  my  bewilderment  my  reply  was  truthful,  spontaneous, 
and  involuntary.  "I  haven't  got  it,"  I  said. 

Pie  smiled  bitterly,  and  threw  down  his  revolver.  "I  expected  that 
reply!  Then  let  me  now  confront  you  with  something  more  awful, 
more  deadly,  more  relentless  and  convincing  than  that  mere  lethal 
weapon  —  the  damning  inductive  and  deductive  proofs  of  your 
guilt!"  He  drew  from  his  pocket  a  roll  of  paper  and  a  notebook. 

"But  surely,"  I  gasped,  "you  are  joking!  You  could  not  believe  —  " 

"Silence!  Sit  down!" 

I  obeyed. 

"You  have  condemned  yourself,"  he  went  on  pitilessly.  "Con- 
demned yourself  on  my  processes  —  processes  familiar  to  you,  ap- 
plauded by  you,  accepted  by  you  for  years!  We  will  go  back  to  the 
time  when  you  first  saw  the  cigar  case.  Your  expressions,"  he  said 
in  cold,  deliberate  tones,  consulting  his  paper,  "were,  'How  beautiful! 
I  wish  it  were  mine.'  This  was  your  first  step  in  crime  —  and  my 
ilrst  indication.  From  'I  wish  it  were  mine'  to  'I  will  have  it  mine.' 
and  the  mere  detail,  'How  can  I  make  it  mine?'  the  advance  was 
obvious.  Silence!  But  as  in  my  methods  it  was  necessary  that  there 


j«2  THE    STOLEN    CIGAR    CASE 

should  be  an  overwhelming  inducement  to  the  crime,  that  unholy 
admiration  o£  yours  for  the  mere  trinket  itself  was  not  enough.  1 
are  a  smoker  of  cigars."  . 

"But,"  I  burst  out  passionately,  "I  told  you  I  had  given  up  smoking 

}3 

C1^Fool!"  he  said  coldly.  "That  is  the  second  time  you  have  com- 
mitted yourself.  Of  course  you  told  me!  What  more  natural  than  for 
you   to  blazon   forth   that  prepared   and   unsolicited   statement   to 
prevent  accusation.  Yet,  as  I  said  before,  even  that  wretched  attempt 
to  cover  up  your  tracks  was  not  enough.  I  still  had  to  find  that  over- 
whelming,  impelling  motive  necessary  to  affect  a  man  like  you.  That 
motive  I  found  in  the  strongest  of  all  impulses  -  love,  I  suppose  you 
would  call  it-"  he  added  bitterly-   "that  night  you  called! 
had  brought  the  most  conclusive  proofs  of  it  on  your  sleeve. 
"But  —  "  I  almost  screamed. 

"Silence!"  he  thundered.  "I  know  what  you  would  say.  You  woulc 
say  that  even  if  you  had  embraced  some  Young  Person  in  a  sealskin 
coat   what  had  that  to  do  with  the  robbery?  Let  me  tell  you   then, 
that  that  sealskin  coat  represented  the  quality  and  character  of  your 
fatal  entanglement!  You  bartered  your  honor  for  it -that  stolen 
cigar  case  was  the  purchaser  of  the  sealskin  coat! 
'  ''Silence!    Having   thoroughly   established   your   motive    I   now 
proceed  to  the  commission  of  the  crime  itself.  Ordinary  people  would 
have  begun  with  that- with  an  attempt  to  discover  the  whereabouts 
of  the  missing  object.  These  are  not  my  methods  " 

So  overpowering  was  his  penetration  that,  although  I  knew  mysel 
innocent,  I  licked  my  lips  with  avidity  to  hear  the  further  details  c 
this  lucid  exposition  of  my  crime. 

"You  committed  that  theft  the  night  I  showed  you  the  cigar  case, 
and  after  I  had  carelessly  thrown  it  in  that  drawer  You  were  sitting 
in  that  chair,  and  I  had  arisen  to  take  something  from  that  shelf, 
that  instant  you  secured  your  booty  without  rising.  Silence!  Do  you 
remember  when  I  helped  you  on  with  your  overcoat  the  other  mght^ 
I  was  particular  about  fitting  your  arm  in.  While  doing  so  I  measured 
your  arm  with  a  spring  tape  measure,  from  the  shoulder  to  the  cuff. 
A  later  visit  to  your  tailor  confirmed  that  measurement.  It  prove, 
to  be  the  exact  distance  between  your  chair  and  that  drawer! 
stunned. 


THE    STOLEN    CIGAR    CASE  173 

"The  rest  are  mere  corroborative  details!  You  were  again  tampering 
with  the  drawer  when  I  discovered  you  doing  so!  Do  not  start!  The 
stranger  that  blundered  into  the  room  with  a  muffler  on  —  was 
myself!  More,  I  had  placed  a  little  soap  on  the  drawer  handles  when 
I  purposely  left  you  alone.  The  soap  was  on  your  hand  when  I  shook 
it  at  parting.  I  softly  felt  your  pockets,  when  you  were  asleep,  for 
further  developments.  I  embraced  you  when  you  left  —  that  I  might 
feel  if  you  had  the  cigar  case  or  any  other  articles  hidden  on  your 
body.  This  confirmed  me  in  the  belief  that  you  had  already  disposed 
of  it  in  the  manner  and  for  the  purpose  I  have  shown  you.  As  I 
still  believed  you  capable  of  remorse  and  confession,  I  twice  allowed 
you  to  see  I  was  on  your  track:  once  in  the  garb  of  an  itinerant  Negro 
minstrel,  and  the  second  time  as  a  workman  looking  in  the  window 
of  the  pawnshop  where  you  pledged  your  booty. 

"But,"  I  burst  out,  "if  you  had  asked  the  pawnbroker,  you  would 
have  seen  how  unjust  —  " 

"Fool!"  he  hissed.  "Do  you  suppose  I  followed  any  of  your  sug- 
gestions, the  suggestions  of  the  thief  ?  On  the  contrary,  they  told  me 
what  to  avoid." 

"And  I  suppose,"  I  said  bitterly,  "you  have  not  even  searched 
your  drawer." 

"No,"  he  said  calmly. 

I  was  for  the  first  time  really  vexed.  I  went  to  the  nearest  drawer 
and  pulled  it  out  sharply.  It  stuck  as  it  had  before,  leaving  a  section 
of  the  drawer  unopened.  By  working  it,  however,  I  discovered  that 
it  was  impeded  by  some  obstacle  that  had  slipped  to  the  upper  part 
of  the  drawer,  and  held  it  firmly  fast.  Inserting  my  hand,  I  pulled 
out  the  impeding  object.  It  was  the  missing  cigar  case!  I  turned  to 
him  with  a  cry  of  joy. 

But  I  was  appalled  at  his  expression.  A  look  of  contempt  was  now 
added  to  his  acute,  penetrating  gaze.  "I  have  been  mistaken,"  he 
said  slowly.  "I  had  not  allowed  for  your  weakness  and  cowardice! 
I  thought  too  highly  of  you  even  in  your  guilt!  But  I  see  now  why 
you  tampered  with  that  drawer  the  other  night.  By  some  inexplicable 
means  —  possibly  another  theft  —  you  took  the  cigar  case  out  of  pawn 
and,  liked  a  whipped  hound,  restored  it  to  me  in  this  feeble,  clumsy 
fashion.  You  thought  to  deceive  me,  Hemlock  Jones!  More,  you 
thought  to  destroy  my  infallibility.  Go!  I  give  you  your  liberty.  I 


174  THE    STOLEN    CIGAR    CASE 

shall  not  summon  the  three  policemen  who  wait  in  the  adjoining 
room  —  but  out  of  my  sight  forever!" 

As  I  stood  once  more  dazed  and  petrified,  he  took  me  firmly  by 
the  ear  and  led  me  into  the  hall,  closing  the  door  behind  him.  This 
reopened  presently,  wide  enough  to  permit  him  to  thrust  out  my 
hat,  overcoat,  umbrella,  and  overshoes,  and  then  closed  against  me 
forever! 

I  never  saw  him  again.  I  am  bound  to  say,  however,  that  thereafter 
my  business  increased,  I  recovered  much  of  my  old  practice,  and  a 
few  of  my  patients  recovered  also.  I  became  rich.  I  had  a  brougham 
and  a  house  in  the  West  End.  But  I  often  wondered,  if,  in  some  lapse 
of  consciousness,  I  had  not  really  stolen  his  cigar  case! 


Detective :  SHAMROCK  JOLNES  Narrator :  WHATSUP 

THE   ADVENTURES   OF     > 
SHAMROCK   JOLNES       --' 

by  O.  HENRY 


O.  Henry  wrote  two  waggish  parodies  of  SherlocJ^  Holmes  — 
"The  Sleuths"  and  "The  Adventures  of  ShamrocJ^  Jolnes" 
both  to  be  found  in  SIXES  AND  SEVENS  (Garden  City,  Doubleday, 
Page,  /p//).  The  great  ShamrocJ^  appeared  briefly  in  a  third 
story,  "The  Detective  Detector"  in  WAIFS  AND  STRAYS  (Garden 
City,  Doubleday,  Page,  1917),  but  this  tale  was  a  parody  of  The 
Master  Criminal  rather  than  of  The  Master  Detective. 

Your  Editors  have  chosen  "The  Adventures  of  ShamrocJ^ 
Jolnes"  because  it  presents  Shamroc\  at  his  deductive  best.  In 
"The  Sleuths"  Jolnes  shares  the  spotlight  with  —  worse,  actually 
yields  it  to  —  another  detective  named  Juggins;  and  in  "The 
Detective  Detector"  Jolnes  plays  second  fiddle  to  a  one-man 
Murder,  Inc.  named  Avery  Knight.  Since  this  anthology  is 
dedicated  to  the  One  and  Only,  with  rivalry  of  any  sort  firmly 
excommunicated,  we  cannot  permit  so  nondescript  a  pair  of 
interlopers  as  Juggins  and  Knight  to  trespass  upon  the  sacred 
precincts. 

O.  Henry's  invention  of  the  name  Shamrocf^  is  surely  an  ap- 
pealing conceit.  The  more  you  thinly  of  it,  the  more  it  grows 
on  you.  But  delicious  as  it  is,  it  does  not  represent  the  author's 
major  effort  in  the  field  of  parody  names.  O.  Henry  wrote  two 
other  detective-story  burlesques,  caricaturing  the  famous  Vidocq. 
They  are  included  in  ROLLING  STONES  (Garden  City,  Doubleday, 
Page,  1912)  and  the  parody  name  for  Vidocq  is  positively  in- 
spired. It  is  le  nom  juste,  the  paragon  of  paronomasia,  the  ne 
plus  ultra  of  neology  —  in  a  word,  Tictocq. 


176  THE    ADVENTURES    OF    SHAMROCK    JOLNES 


I 


^  AM  so  fortunate  as  to  count  Shamrock  Jolnes,  the  great  New  York 
detective,  among  my  muster  of  friends.  Jolnes  is  what  is  called  the 
"inside  man"  of  the  city  detective  force.  He  is  an  expert  in  the  use 
of  the  typewriter,  and  it  is  his  duty,  whenever  .there  is  a  "murder 
mystery"  to  be  solved,  to  sit  at  a  desk  telephone  at  Headquarters  and 
take  down  the  messages  of  "cranks"  who  phone  in  their  confessions 
to  having  committed  the  crime. 

But  on  certain  "off"  days  when  confessions  are  coming  in  slowly 
and  three  or  four  newspapers  have  run  to  earth  as  many  different 
guilty  persons,  Jolnes  will  knock  about  the  town  with  me,  exhibiting, 
to  my  great  delight  and  instruction,  his  marvelous  powers  of  ob- 
servation and  deduction. 

The  other  day  I  dropped  in  at  Headquarters  and  found  the  great 
detective  gazing  thoughtfully  at  a  string  that  was  tied  tightly  around 

his  little  finger. 

"Good  morning,  Whatsup,"  he  said,  without  turning  his  head. 
"I'm  glad  to  notice  that  you've  had  your  house  fitted  up  with  electric 

lights  at  last." 

"Will  you  please  tell  me,"  I  said,  in  surprise,  "how  you  knew  that; 
I  am  sure  that  I  never  mentioned  the  fact  to  anyone^ and  the  wiring 
was  a  rush  order  not  completed  until  this  morning." 

"Nothing  easier,"  said  Jolnes,  genially.  "As  you  came  in  I  caught 
the  odor  of  the  cigar  you  are  smoking.  I  know  an  expensive  cigar; 
and  I  know  that  not  more  than  three  men  in  New  York  can  afford 
to  smoke  cigars  and  pay  gas  bills  too  at  the  present  time.  That  was 
an  easy  one.  But  I  am  working  just  now  on  a  little  problem  of  my 


own. 


"Why  have  you  that  string  on  your  finger?"  I  asked. 

"That's  the  problem,"  said  Jolnes.  "My  wife  tied  that  on  this 
morning  to  remind  me  of  something  I  was  to  send  up  to  the  house. 
Sit  down,  Whatsup,  and  excuse  me  for  a  few  moments." 

The  distinguished  detective  went  to  a  wall  telephone,  and  stood 
with  the  receiver  to  his  ear  for  probably  ten  minutes. 

"Were  you  listening  to  a  confession?"  I  asked,  when  he  had  re- 
turned to  his  chair. 

"Perhaps,"  said  Jolnes,  with  a  smile,  "it  might  be  called  something 


THE    ADVENTURES    OF    SHAMROCK    JOLNES  177 

of  the  sort.  To  be  frank  with  you,  Whatsup,  I've  cut  out  the  dope. 
I've  been  increasing  the  quantity  for  so  long  that  morphine  doesn't 
have  much  effect  on  me  any  more.  I've  got  to  have  something  more 
powerful.  That  telephone  I  just  went  to  is  connected  with  a  room  in 
the  Waldorf  where  there's  an  author's  reading  in  progress.  Now,  to 
get  at  the  solution  of  this  string." 

After  five  minutes  of  silent  pondering,  Jolnes  looked  at  me,  with 
a  smile,  and  nodded  his  head. 

"Wonderful  man!"  I  exclaimed.  "Already?" 

"It  is  quite  simple,"  he  said,  holding  up  his  finger.  "You  see  that 
knot  ?  That  is  to  prevent  my  forgetting.  It  is,  therefore,  a  forget-me- 
knot.  A  forget-me-not  is  a  flower.  It  was  a  sack  of  flour  that  I  was 
to  send  home!" 

"Beautiful!"  I  could  not  help  crying  out  in  admiration. 

"Suppose  we  go  out  for  a  ramble,"  suggested  Jolnes. 

"There  is  only  one  case  of  importance  on  hand  just  now.  Old  man 
McCarty,  one  hundred  and  four  years  old,  died  from  eating  too  many 
bananas.  The  evidence  points  so  strongly  to  the  Mafia  that  the  police 
have  surrounded  the  Second  Avenue  Katzenjammer  Gambrinus 
Club  No.  2,  and  the  capture  of  the  assassin  is  only  the  matter  of  a 
few  hours.  The  detective  force  has  not  yet  been  called  on  for  assist- 
ance." 

Jolnes  and  I  went  out  and  up  the  street  toward  the  corner,  where 
we  were  to  catch  a  surface  car. 

Halfway  up  the  block  we  met  Rheingelder,  an  acquaintance  of 
ours,  who  held  a  City  Hall  position. 

"Good  morning,  Rheingelder,"  said  Jolnes,  halting.  "Nice  break- 
fast that  was  you  had  this  morning." 

Always  on  the  lookout  for  the  detective's  remarkable  feats  of 
deduction,  I  saw  Jolnes's  eyes  flash  for  an  instant  upon  a  long  yellow 
splash  on  the  shirt  bosom  and  a  smaller  one  upon  the  chin  of  Rhein- 
gelder —  both  undoubtedly  made  by  the  yolk  of  an  egg. 

"Oh,  dot  is  some  of  your  detectiveness,"  said  Rheingelder,  shaking 
all  over  with  a  smile.  "Veil,  I  pet  you  trinks  und  cigars  all  round  dot 
you  cannot  tell  vot  I  haf  eaten  for  breakfast." 

"Done,"  said  Jolnes.  "Sausage,  pumpernickel  and  coffee." 

Rheingelder  admitted  the  correctness  of  the  surmise  and  paid  the 
bet.  When  we  had  proceeded  on  our  way  I  said  to  Jolnes: 


178  THE    ADVENTURES    OF    SHAMROCK    JOLNES 

"I  thought  you  looked  at  the  egg  spilled  on  his  chin  and  shirt 

front." 

"I  did,"  said  Jolnes.  "That  is  where  I  began  my  deduction.  Rhein- 
gelder  is  a  very  economical,  saving  man.  Yesterday  eggs  dropped  m 
the  market  to  twenty-eight  cents  per  dozen.  Today  they  are  quoted 
at  forty-two.  Rheingelder  ate  eggs  yesterday,  and  today  he  went 
back  to  his  usual  fare.  A  little  thing  like  this  isn't  anything,  Whatsup; 
it  belongs  to  the  primary  arithmetic  class." 

When  we  boarded  the  streetcar  we  found  the  seats  all  occupied 
—  principally  by  ladies.  Jolnes  and  I  stood  on  the  rear  platform. 

About  the  middle  of  the  car  there  sat  an  elderly  man  with  a  short 
gray  beard,  who  looked  to  be  the  typical  well-dressed  New  Yorker. 
At  successive  corners  other  ladies  climbed  aboard,  and  soon  three 
or  four  of  them  were  standing  over  the  man,  clinging  to  straps  and 
glaring  meaningly  at  the  man  who  occupied  the  coveted  seat.  But 
he  resolutely  retained  his  place. 

"We  New  Yorkers,"  I  remarked  to  Jolnes,  "have  about  lost  our 
manners,  as  far  as  the  exercise  of  them  in  public  goes." 

"Perhaps  so,"  said  Jolnes,  lightly,  "but  the  man  you  evidently  refer 
to  happens  to  be  a  very  chivalrous  and  courteous  gentleman  from 
Old  Virginia.  He  is  spending  a  few  days  in  New  York  with  his  wife 
and  two  daughters,  and  he  leaves  for  the  South  tonight." 

"You  know  him,  then?"  I  said,  in  amazement. 

"I  never  saw  him  before  we  stepped  on  the  car,"  declared  the 
detective,  smilingly. 

"By  the  gold  tooth  of  the  Witch  of  Endor,"  I  cried,  "if  you  can 
construe  all  that  from  his  appearance  you  are  dealing  in  nothing  else 

than  black  art." 

"The  habit  of  observation  —  nothing  more,"  said  Jolnes.  "If  the  old 
gentleman  gets  off  the  car  before  we  do,  I  think  I  can  demonstrate  to 
you  the  accuracy  of  my  deduction." 

Three  blocks  farther  along  the  gentleman  rose  to  leave  the  car. 
Jolnes  addressed  him  at  the  door: 

"Pardon  me,  sir,  but  are  you  not  Colonel  Hunter,  of  Norfolk, 

Virginia?" 

"No,  suh,"  was  the  extremely  courteous  answer.  "My  name,  suh, 
is  Ellison  —  Major  Winfield  R.  Ellison,  from  Fairfax  County,  in  the 
same  state.  I  know  a  good  many  people,  suh,  in  Norfolk  —  the  Good- 


THE    ADVENTURES    OF    SHAMROCK    JOLNES  179 

riches,  the  Tollivers,  and  the  Crabtrees,  suh,  but  I  never  had  the 
pleasure  of  meeting  yo'  friend  Colonel  Hunter.  I  am  happy  to  say, 
suh,  that  I  am  going  back  to  Virginia  tonight,  after  having  spent  a 
week  in  yo'  city  with  my  wife  and  three  daughters.  I  shall  be  in 
Norfolk  in  about  ten  days,  and  if  you  will  give  me  yo'  name,  suh,  I 
will  take  pleasure  in  looking  up  Colonel  Hunter  and  telling  him  that 
you  inquired  after  him,  suh." 

"Thank  you,"  said  Jolnes.  "Tell  him  that  Reynolds  sent  his  regards, 
if  you  will  be  so  kind." 

I  glanced  at  the  great  New  York  detective  and  saw  that  a  look  of 
intense  chagrin  had  come  upon  his  clear-cut  features.  Failure  in  the 
slightest  point  always  galled  Shamrock  Jolnes. 

"Did  you  say  your  three  daughters?"  he  asked  of  the  Virginia 
gentleman. 

"Yes,  suh,  my  three  daughters,  all  as  fine  girls  as  there  are  in  Fairfax 

County,"  was  the  answer. 
With  that  Major  Ellison  stopped  the  car  and  began  to  descend  the 

step. 

Shamrock  Jolnes  clutched  his  arm. 

"One  moment,  sir--"  he  begged,  in  an  urbane  voice  in  which  I 
alone  detected  the  anxiety  — "am  I  not  right  in  believing  that  one 
of  the  young  ladies  is  an  adopted  daughter?" 

"You  are,  suh,"  admitted  the  major,  from  the  ground,  "but  how 
the  devil  you  knew  it,  suh,  is  mo'  than  I  can  tell." 

"And  mo'  than  I  can  tell,  too,"  I  said,  as  the  car  went  on. 

Jolnes  was  restored  to  his  calm,  observant  serenity  by  having 
wrested  victory  from  his  apparent  failure;  so  after  we  got  off  the  car 
he  invited  me  into  a  cafe,  promising  to  reveal  the  process  of  his  latest 
wonderful  feat. 

"In  the  first  place,"  he  began  after  we  were  comfortably  seated,  " 
knew  the  gentleman  was  no  New  Yorker  because  he  was  flushed 
and  uneasy  and  restless  on  account  of  the  ladies  that  were  standing, 
although  he  did  not  rise  and  give  them  his  seat.  I  decided  from  his 
appearance  that  he  was  a  Southerner  rather  than  a  Westerner. 

"Next  I  began  to  figure  out  his  reason  for  not  relinquishing  his 
seat  to  a  lady  when  he  evidently  felt  strongly,  but  not  overpoweringly, 
impelled  to  do  so.  I  very  quickly  decided  upon  that.  I  noticed  that 
one  of  his  eyes  had  received  a  severe  jab  in  one  corner,  which  was 


l8o  THE    ADVENTURES    OF    SHAMROCK    JOLNES 

red  and  inflamed,  and  that  all  over  his  face  were  tiny  round  marks 
about  the  size  of  the  end  of  an  uncut  lead  pencil.  Also  upon  both 
of  his  patent-leather  shoes  were  a  number  of  deep  imprints  shaped 
like  ovals  cut  oft  square  at  one  end. 

"Now,  there  is  only  one  district  in  New  York  City  where  a  man 
is  bound  to  receive  scars  and  wounds  and  indentations  of  that  sort 
—  and  that  is  along  the  sidewalks  of  Twenty-third  Street  and  a 
portion  of  Sixth  Avenue  south  of  there.  I  knew  from  the  imprints 
of  trampling  French  heels  on  his  feet  and  the  marks  of  countless 
jabs  in  the  face  from  umbrellas  and  parasols  carried  by  women  in 
the  shopping  district  that  he  had  been  in  conflict  with  the  Amazonian 
troops.  And  as  he  was  a  man  of  intelligent  appearance,  I  knew  he 
would  not  have  braved  such  dangers  unless  he  had  been  dragged 
thither  by  his  own  womenfolk.  Therefore,  when  he  got  on  the  car 
his  anger  at  the  treatment  he  had  received  was  sufficient  to  make  him 
keep  his  seat  in  spite  of  his  traditions  of  Southern  chivalry." 

"That  is  all  very  well,"  I  said,  "but  why  did  you  insist  upon  daugh- 
ters—  and  especially  two  daughters?  Why  couldn't  a  wife  alone 
have  taken  him  shopping?" 

"There  had  to  be  daughters,"  said  Jolnes,  calmly.  "If  he  had  only 
a  wife,  and  she  near  his  own  age,  he  could  have  bluffed  her  into  going 
alone.  If  he  had  a  young  wife  she  would  prefer  to  go  alone.  So  there 
you  are." 

"I'll  admit  that,"  I  said;  "but,  now,  why  two  daughters?  And 
how,  in  the  name  of  all  the  prophets,  did  you  guess  that  one  was 
adopted  when  he  told  you  he  had  three?" 

"Don't  say  guess,"  said  Jolnes,  with  a  touch  of  pride  in  his  air; 
"there  is  no  such  word  in  the  lexicon  of  ratiocination.  In  Major  El- 
lison's buttonhole  there  was  a  carnation  and  a  rosebud  backed  by  a 
geranium  leaf.  No  woman  ever  combined  a  carnation  and  a  rosebud 
into  a  boutonniere.  Close  your  eyes,  Whatsup,  and  give  the  logic  of 
your  imagination  a  chance.  Cannot  you  see  the  lovely  Adele  fastening 
the  carnation  to  the  lapel  so  that  Papa  may  be  gay  upon  the  street? 
And  then  the  romping  Edith  May  dancing  up  with  sisterly  jealousy 
to  add  her  rosebud  to  the  adornment?" 

"And  then,"  I  cried,  beginning  to  feel  enthusiasm,  "when  he  de- 
clared that  he  had  three  daughters  —  " 


THE    ADVENTURES    OF    SHAMROCK    JOLNES  l8l 

"I  could  see,"  said  Jolnes,  "one  in  the  background  who  added  no 
flower;  and  I  knew  that  she  must  be  —  " 

"Adopted!"  I  broke  in.  "I  give  you  every  credit;  but  how  did  you 
know  he  was  leaving  for  the  South  tonight?" 

"In  his  breast  pocket,"  said  the  great  detective,  "something  large 
and  oval  made  a  protuberance.  Good  liquor  is  scarce  on  trains,  and 
it  is  a  long  journey  from  New  York  to  Fairfax  County." 

"Again  I  must  bow  to  you,"  I  said.  "And  tell  me  this,  so  that  my 
last  shred  of  doubt  will  be  cleared  away;  why  did  you  decide  that 
he  was  from  Virginia?" 

"It  was  very  faint,  I  admit,"  answered  Shamrock  Jolnes,  "but  no 
trained  observer  could  have  failed  to  detect  the  odor  of  mint  in  the 
car." 


PART  THREE: 


BY   HUMORISTS 

"That  Extraordinary  Man." 
—  MARK  TWAIN 


Detective:  PICKLOCK  HOLES  Narrator:  POTSON 

THE   UMBROSA   BURGLARY 
by  R.  C.  LEHMANN 


This  early  parody  appeared  first  in  "Punch,"  issue  of  Novem- 
ber 4,  1893.  It  was  one  of  a  series  of  eight  published  in  boo\ 
form  under  the  title  THE  ADVENTURES  OF  PICKLOCK  HOLES  (Lon- 
don, Bradbury,  Agnew,  zpo/). 

We  have  decided  to  include  one  of  R.  C.  Lehmann's  series 
for  no  less  than  jour  reasons:  [i]  the  boo{,  THE  ADVENTURES  OF 
PICKLOCK  HOLES,  is  unusually  scarce  —  so  scarce  that  Vincent 
Starrett  could  find  no  copy  until  your  Editors,  after  many  years 
of  hunting,  located  a  duplicate  copy  and  presented  it  to  an  elated 
Mr.  Starrett;  [2]  when  the  Pic{loc{  Holes  adventures  appeared 
in  "Punch"  they  were  signed  as  by  "Cunnin  Toil"  -a  pun  of 
the  name  Conan  Doyle  that  is  much  cleverer  than  seems  on 
first  reading;  [j]  the  parody  name  of  Pickloc^  Holes  is  surely 
one  of  the  most  imaginative  distortions  ever  invented;  and  [4] 
Mr.  Lehmann  offers  a  candid  and  singularly  convincing  ex- 
planation for  Pic\loc\  Holes 's  "infallibility"  as  a  great  detec- 
tive  _  an  explanation  that  has  as  curious  a  note  of  realism  as 
ever  crept  into  the  last  paragraph  of  a  burlesque. 


D 


URING  one  of  my  short  summer  holidays  I  happened  to  be 

spending  a  few  days  at  the  delightful  riverside  residence  of  my  friend 
James  Silver,  the  extent  of  whose  hospitality  is  only  to  be  measured 
by  the  excellence  of  the  fare  that  he  sets  before  his  guests,  or  by  the 
varied  amusements  that  he  provides  for  them.  The  beauties  of  Um- 
brosa  (for  that  is  the  attractive  name  of  his  house)  are  known  to  all 
those  who  during  the  summer  months  pass  up  (or  down)  the  wind- 
ing reaches  of  the  Upper  Thames.  It  was  there  that  I  witnessed  a 


l86  THE    UMBROSA    BURGLARY 

series  of  startling  events  which  threw  the  whole  county  into  a  tem- 
porary turmoil.  Had  it  not  been  for  the  unparalleled  coolness  and 
sagacity  of  Picklock  Holes  the  results  might  have  been  fraught  with 
disaster  to  many  distinguished  families,  but  the  acumen  of  Holes 
saved  the  situation  and  the  family  plate,  and  restored  .the  peace  of 
mind  of  one  of  the  best  fellows  in  the  world. 

The  party  at  Umbrosa  consisted  of  the  various  members  of  the 
Silver  family,  including,  besides  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Silver,  three  high- 
spirited  and  unmarried  youths  and  two  charming  girls.  Picklock 
Holes  was  of  course  one  of  the  guests.  In  fact,  it  had  long  since  come 
to  be  an  understood  thing  that  wherever  I  went  Holes  should  ac- 
company me  in  the  character  of  a  professional  detective  on  the  look- 
out for  business;  and  James  Silver,  though  he  may  have  at  first  re- 
sented the  calm  unmuscularity  of  my  marvellous  friend's  immovable 
face,  would  have  been  the  last  man  in  the  world  to  spoil  any  chance 
of  sport  or  excitement  by  refraining  from  offering  a  cordial  invitation 
to  Holes.  The  party  was  completed  by  Peter  Bowman,  a  lad  of 
eighteen,  who  to  an  extraordinary  capacity  for  mischief  added  an 
imperturbable  cheerfulness  of  manner.  He  was  generally  known  as 
Shockheaded  Peter,  in  allusion  to  the  brush-like  appearance  of  his 
delicate  auburn  hair,  but  his  intimate  friends  sometimes  addressed 
him  as  Venus,  a  nickname  which  he  thoroughly  deserved  by  the  al- 
most classic  irregularity  of  his  Saxon  features. 

We  were  all  sitting,  I  remember,  on  the  riverbank,  watching  the 
countless  craft  go  past,  and  enjoying  that  pleasant  industrious  in- 
dolence which  is  one  of  the  chief  charms  of  life  on  the  Thames.  A 
punt  had  just  skimmed  by,  propelled  by  an  athletic  young  fellow  in 
boating  costume.  Suddenly  Holes  spoke. 

"It  is  strange,"  he  said,  "that  the  man  should  be  still  at  large." 

"What  man?  Where?  How?"  we  all  exclaimed  breathlessly. 

"The  young  puntsman,"  said  Holes,  with  an  almost  aggravating 
coolness.  "He  is  a  bigamist,  and  has  murdered  his  great  aunt." 

"It  cannot  be,"  said  Mr.  Silver,  with  evident  distress.  "I  know  the 
lad  well,  and  a  better  fellow  never  breathed." 

"I  speak  the  truth,"  said  Holes,  unemotionally.  "The  induction  is 
perfect.  He  is  wearing  a  red  tie.  That  tie  was  not  always  red.  It  was, 
therefore,  stained  by  something.  Blood  is  red.  It  was,  therefore,  stained 
by  blood.  Now  it  is  well  known  that  the  blood  of  great  aunts  is  of  a 


THE    UMBROSA    BURGLARY  187 

lighter  shade,  and  the  colour  of  that  tie  has  a  lighter  shade.  The 
blood  that  stained  it  was,  therefore,  the  blood  of  his  great  aunt.  As 
for  the  bigamy,  you  will  have  noticed  that  as  he  passed  he  blew  two 
rings  of  cigarette  smoke,  and  they  both  floated  in  the  air  at  the  same 
time.  A  ring  is  a  symbol  of  matrimony.  Two  rings  together  mean 
bigamy.  He  is,  therefore,  a  bigamist." 

For  a  moment  we  were  silent,  struck  with  horror  at  this  dreadful, 
this  convincing  revelation  of  criminal  infamy.  Then  I  broke  out : 

"Holes,"  I  said,  "you  deserve  the  thanks  of  the  whole  community. 
You  will  of  course  communicate  with  the  police." 

"No,"  said  Holes,  "they  are  fools,  and  I  do  not  care  to  mix  myself 
up  with  them.  Besides,  I  have  other  fish  to  fry." 

Saying  this,  he  led  me  to  a  secluded  part  of  the  grounds,  and 
whispered  in  my  ear. 

"Not  a  word  of  what  I  am  about  to  tell  you.  There  will  be  a  burglary 

here  to-night." 

"But  Holes,"  I  said,  startled  in  spite  of  myself  at  the  calm  om- 
niscience of  my  friend,  "had  we  not  better  do  something;  arm  the 
servants,  warn  the  police,  bolt  the  doors  and  bar  the  windows,  and 
sit  up  with  blunderbusses  —  anything  would  be  better  than  this  state 
of  dreadful  expectancy.  May  I  not  tell  Mr.  Silver?" 

"Potson,  you  are  amiable,  but  you  will  never  learn  my  methods." 
And  with  that  enigmatic  reply  I  had  to  be  content  in  the  meantime. 

The  evening  had  passed  as  pleasantly  as  evenings  at  Umbrosa  al- 
ways pass.  There  had  been  music;  the  Umbrosa  choir,  composed  of 
members  of  the  family  and  guests,  had  performed  in  the  drawing- 
room,  and  Peter  had  drawn  tears  from  the  eyes  of  every  one  by  his 
touching  rendering  of  the  well-known  songs  of  "The  Dutiful  Son" 
and  "The  Cartridge-bearer."  Shortly  afterwards,  the  ladies  retired  to 
bed,  and  the  gentlemen,  after  the  customary  interval  in  the  smoking- 
room,  followed.  We  were  in  high  good-humour,  and  had  made  many 
plans  for  the  morrow.  Only  Holes  seemed  preoccupied. 

I  had  been  sleeping  for  about  an  hour,  when  I  was  suddenly 
awakened  with  a  start.  In  the  passage  outside  I  heard  the  voices  of 
the  youngest  Silver  boy  and  of  Peter. 

"Peter,  old  chap,"  said  Johnny  Silver,  "I  believe  there's  burglars  in 
the  house.  Isn't  it  a  lark?" 

"Ripping,"  said  Peter.  "Have  you  told  your  people?" 


THE    UMBROSA    BURGLARY 

"Oh,  it's  no  use  waking  the  governor  and  the  mater;  we'll  do  the 
job  ourselves.  I  told  the  girls,  and  they've  all  locked  themselves  in 
and  got  under  their  beds,  so  they're  safe.  Are  you  ready?" 

"Yes." 

"Come  on  then." 

With  that  they  went  along  the  passage  and  down  the  stairs.  My 
mind  was  made  up,  and  my  trousers  and  boots  were  on  in  less  time 
than  it  takes  to  tell  it.  I  went  to  Holes's  room  and  entered.  He  was 
lying  on  his  bed,  fully  awake,  dressed  in  his  best  detective  suit,  with 
his  fingers  meditatively  extended,  and  touching  one  another. 

"They're  here,"  I  said. 

"Who?" 

"The  burglars." 

"As  I  thought,"  said  Holes,  selecting  his  best  basket-hiked  life- 
preserver  from  a  heap  in  the  middle  of  the  room.  "Follow  me  si- 
lently." 

I  did  so.  No  sooner  had  we  reached  the  landing,  however,  than 
the  silence  was  broken  by  a  series  of  blood-curdling  screams. 

"Good  heavens!"  was  all  I  could  say. 

"Hush,"  said  Holes.  I  obeyed  him.  The  screams  subsided,  and  I 
heard  the  voices  of  my  two  young  friends,  evidently  in  great  triumph. 

"Lie  still,  you  brute,"  said  Peter,  "or  I'll  punch  your  blooming 
head.  Give  the  rope  another  twist,  Johnny.  That's  it.  Now  you  cut 
and  tell  your  governor  and  old  Holes  that  we've  nabbed  the  beggar." 

By  this  time  the  household  was  thoroughly  roused.  Agitated  fe- 
males and  inquisitive  males  streamed  downstairs.  Lights  were  lit, 
and  a  remarkable  sight  met  our  eyes.  In  the  middle  of  the  drawing- 
room  lay  an  undersized  burglar,  securely  bound,  with  Peter  sitting 

on  his  head. 

"Johnny  and  I  collared  the  beggar,"  said  Peter,  "and  bowled  him 
over.  Thanks,  I  think  I  could  do  a  ginger-beer." 

The  man  was  of  course  tried  and  convicted,  and  Holes  received 
the  thanks  of  the  County  Council. 

"That  fellow,"  said  the  great  detective  to  me,  "was  the  best  and 
cleverest  of  my  tame  team  of  country-house  burglars.  Through  him 
and  his  associates  I  have  fostered  and  foiled  more  thefts  than  I  care 
to  count.  Those  infernal  boys  nearly  spoilt  everything.  Potson,  take 


THE    UMBROSA    BURGLARY  189 

my  advice,  never  attempt  a  master-stroke  in  a  houseful  of  boys.  They 
can't  understand  scientific  induction.  Had  they  not  interfered  I 
should  have  caught  the  fellow  myself.  He  had  wired  to  tell  me 
where  I  should  find  him." 


Detective:  SHERLOCK  HOLMES 


THE   STRANGER  UNRAVELS 
A   MYSTERY 

by  JOHN  KENDRICK  BANGS 


Here  is  one  of  the  earliest  —  if  not  actually  the  earliest  —  Amer- 
ican parodies  of  Sherlock.  Holmes.  It  is  really  the  first  two 
chapters  in  THE  PURSUIT  OF  THE  HOUSE-BOAT  (New  Yorf{,  Harper, 

1897). 

In  this  parody  you  will  meet  Sherlock  Holmes  in  Hades  - 
a  justifiable  address  when  you  remember  that  Holmes  was  sup- 
posed to  have  died  in  1893,  at  the  end  of  "The  Adventure  of 
the  Final  Problem"  l  —  that  is,  jour  years  prior  to  the  publica- 
tion of  Mr.  Bangs' s  book-  How  was  Mr.  Bangs  to  foresee  that 
Holmes  would  be  resurrected  six  years  ajter  he  —  and  the  whole 
grief -stricken  world  — had  accepted  with  "heavy  heart"  the 
Watsoman  obituary?  How  was  Mr.  Bangs  to  know  six  years 
in  advance  that  Holmes  would  "return"  to  the  pages  of  "The 
Strand  Magazine"  in  October  1903,  when  neither  Dr.  Watson 
nor  Conan  Doyle  himself  had  the  slightest  suspicion  of  so 

colossal  an  event? 

On  the  other  hand,  granting  Mr.  Bangs' s  right  to  assume  in 
1897  that  the  report  of  Holmes  s  death  had  not  been  exagger- 
ated, was  Hades  really  a  justifiable  address?  There  are  those 
who  would  hold  out  for  Heaven  —  or  at  the  least,  Valhalla  .  .  . 

Be  as  it  may,  you  will  find  Holmes  in  company  with  other 
great  and  glittering  personages  — The  Associated  Shades, 
[Ltd.],  including  Sir  Walter  Raleigh,  Socrates,  Dr.  Livingstone, 
Confucius,  Shakespeare,  Noah,  Dr.  Samuel  Johnson  and  Bos- 
well,  Solomon,  Caesar,  Napoleon,  among  others  equally  fa- 
mous, all  involved  in  a  truly  "hellish"  mystery. 

Mr.  Bangs  was  one  of  our  finest  parodists.  At  his  best  he  skill- 
fully blended  pure  burlesque  with  cunningly  conceived  plot 

i  MEMOIRS  OF  SHERLOCK  HOLMES;  New  York,  Harper,  1894:  London,  Newnes,  1894- 


THE    STRANGER    UNRAVELS    A    MYSTERY  19! 

details.  The  Holmes  saga  proved  a  veritable  bonanza  to  him 
and  he  mined  it  lustily.  If  you  wish  to  pursue  the  further  parody- 
adventures  of  Sherlock^,  as  recorded  by  John  (Watson)  Bangs, 
gather  the  following  nuggets: 

"The  Mystery  of  Pin^ham's  Diamond  Stud"  -  Chapter  X 
in  THE  DREAMERS  :  A  CLUB  (Ne w  YorJ{,  Harper,  7899) 

"Sherloc^  Holmes  Again"  —  Chapter  IX  in  THE  ENCHANTED 
TYPE-WRITER  (New  Yor^,  Harper,  1899) 

"ShylocJ^  Homes:  His  Posthumous  Memoirs"  -a  series 
syndicated  in  US.  newspapers  in  1903,  but  never  published 
in  booJ{  form;  see  the  next  story  in  this  anthology  —  the 
first  ShylocJ^  Homes  memoir  ever  to  appear  between  covers 

R.  HOLMES  &  co.  (New  Yor^  Harper,  7906)  —  the  bur- 
lesque escapades  of  Mr.  Raffles  Holmes,  the  "son"  of  Sher- 
loc{  and  the  "grandson"  of  A.].  Raffles  2 

"A  Pragmatic  Enigma"  -the  fourth  story  in  POTTED  FIC- 
TION (New  Yor^t  Doubleday,  Page,  1908) 


T 

J.H; 


.HE  HOUSEBOAT  of  the  Associated  Shades,  formerly  located  upon  the 
River  Styx,  as  the  reader  may  possibly  remember,  had  been  torn 
from  its  moorings  and  navigated  out  into  unknown  seas  by  that 
vengeful  pirate  Captain  Kidd,  aided  and  abetted  by  some  of  the 
most  ruffianly  inhabitants  of  Hades.  Like  a  thief  in  the  night  had 
they  come,  and  for  no  better  reason  than  that  the  captain  had  been 
unanimously  voted  a  shade  too  shady  to  associate  with  self-respecting 
spirits  had  they  made  off  with  the  happy  floating  clubhouse  of  their 
betters;  and  worst  of  all,  with  them,  by  force  of  circumstances  over 
which  they  had  no  control,  had  sailed  also  the  fair  Queen  Elizabeth, 

2  If  you  arc  a  student  of  literary  genetics,  you'll  realize  that  this  is  perfectly  possible. 
Sir  Arthur  Conan  Doyle,  sire  of  Sherlock,  and  E.  W.  Hornung,  progenitor  of  Raffles, 
were  in  real  life  brothers-in-law!  Of  course  John  Kendrick  Bangs  knew  this  vital  fact  — 
Hornung  married  Doyle's  sister  in  1893,  thirteen  years  before  Bangs  "produced" 
Raffles  Holmes.  The  only  discrepancy  —  an  amazing  one,  it's  true  —  is  the  matter  of 
Raffles  Holmes's  age.  Surely  Raffles  Holmes,  to  judge  merely  from  the  illustrations  in 
the  book,  was  more  than  twelve  years  old! 


192  THE    STRANGER    UNRAVELS    A    MYSTERY 

the  spirited  Xanthippe,  and  every  other  strong-minded  and  beautiful 
woman  of  Erebean  society,  whereby  the  men  thereof  were  rendered 

desolate. 

"I  can't  stand  it!"  cried  Raleigh,  desperately,  as  with  his  accustomed 
grace  he  presided  over  a  special  meeting  of  the  club,  called  on  the 
bank  of  the  inky  Stygian  stream,  at  the  point  where  the  missing  boat 
had  been  moored.  "Think  of  it,  gentlemen,  Elizabeth  of  England, 
Calpurnia  of  Rome,  Ophelia  of  Denmark,  and  every  precious  jewel 
in  our  social  diadem  gone,  vanished  completely;  and  with  whom? 
Kidd,  of  all  men  in  the  universe!  Kidd,  the  pirate,  the  ruffian  —  " 
"Don't  take  on  so,  my  dear  Sir  Walter,"  said  Socrates,  cheerfully. 
"What's  the  use  of  going  into  hysterics  ?  You  are  not  a  woman,  and 
should  eschew  that  luxury.  Xanthippe  is  with  them,  and  I'll  warrant 
you  that  when  that  cherished  spouse  of  mine  has  recovered  from  the 
effects  of  the  sea,  say  the  third  day  out,  Kidd  and  his  crew  will  be 
walking  the  plank,  and  voluntarily  at  that." 

"But  the  Houseboat  itself,"  murmured  Noah,  sadly.  "That  was 
my  delight.  It  reminded  me  in  some  respects  of  the  Ark." 

"The  law  of  compensation  enters  in  there,  my  dear  Commodore," 
retorted  Socrates.  "For  me,  with  Xanthippe  abroad  I  do  not  need  a 
club  to  go  to;  I  can  stay  at  home  and  take  my  hemlock  in  peace  and 
straight.  Xanthippe  always  compelled  me  to  dilute  it  at  the  rate  of 
one  quart  of  water  to  the  finger." 

"Well,  we  didn't  all  marry  Xanthippe,"  put  in  Caesar,  firmly, 
"therefore  we  are  not  all  satisfied  with  the  situation.  I,  for  one,  quite 
agree  with  Sir  Walter  that  something  must  be  done,  and  quickly. 
Are  we  to  sit  here  and  do  nothing,  allowing  that  fiend  to  kidnap 
our  wives  with  impunity?" 

"Not  at  all,"  interposed  Bonaparte.  "The  time  for  action  has  ar- 
rived. All  things  considered  he  is  welcome  to  Marie  Louise,  but  the 
idea  of  Josephine  going  off  on  a  cruise  of  that  kind  breaks  my  heart." 
"No  question  about  it,"  observed  Dr.  Johnson.  "We've  got  to  do 
something  if  it  is  only  for  the  sake  of  appearances.  The  question 
really  is,  what  shall  be  done  first?" 

"I  am  in  favor  of  taking  a  drink  as  the  first  step,  and  considering 
the  matter  of  further  action  afterwards,"  suggested  Shakespeare,  and 
it  was  this  suggestion  that  made  the  members  unanimous  upon  the 
necessity  for  immediate  action,  for  when  the  assembled  spirits  called 


THE    STRANGER    UNRAVELS    A    MYSTERY  193 

for  their  various  favorite  beverages  it  was  found  that  there  were  none 
to  be  had,  it  being  Sunday,  and  all  the  establishments  wherein  liquid 
refreshments  were  licensed  to  be  sold  being  closed  —  for  at  the  time 
of  writing  the  local  government  of  Hades  was  in  the  hands  of  the 

reform  party. 

"What!"  cried  Socrates.  "Nothing  but  Styx  water  and  vitriol,  Sun- 
days? Then  the  Houseboat  must  be  recovered  whether  Xanthippe 
comes  with  it  or  not.  Sir  Walter,  I  am  for  immediate  action,  after  all. 
This  ruffian  should  be  captured  at  once  and  made  an  example  of." 
"Excuse  me,  Socrates,"  put  in  Lindley  Murray,  "but,  ah  — pray 
speak  in  Greek  hereafter,  will  you,  please?  When  you  attempt  Eng- 
lish you  have  a  beastly  way  of  working  up  to  climactic  prepositions 
which  are  offensive  to  the  ear  of  a  purist." 

"This  is  no  time  to  discuss  style,  Murray,"  interposed  Sir  Walter. 
"Socrates  may  speak  and  spell  like  Chaucer  if  he  pleases;  he  may 
even  part  his  infinitives  in  the  middle,  for  all  I  care.  We  have  affairs 
of  greater  moment  in  hand." 

"We  must  ransack  the  earth,"  cried  Socrates,  "until  we  find  that 
boat.  I'm  dry  as  a  fish." 

"There  he  goes  again!"  growled  Murray.  "Dry  as  a  fish!  What 
fish  I'd  like  to  know  is  dry?" 

"Red  herrings,"  retorted  Socrates;  and  there  was  a  great  laugh  at 
the  expense  of  the  purist,  in  which  even  Hamlet,  who  had  grown 
more  and  more  melancholy  and  morbid  since  the  abduction  of 
Ophelia,  joined. 

"Then  it  is  settled,"  said  Raleigh;  "something  must  be  done.  And 
now  the  point  is,  what?" 

"Relief  expeditions  have  a  way  of  finding  things,"  suggested  Dr. 
Livingstone.  "Or  rather  of  being  found  by  the  things  they  go  out 
to  relieve.  I  propose  that  we  send  out  a  number  of  them.  I  will  take 
Africa;  Bonaparte  can  lead  an  expedition  into  Europe;  General 
Washington  may  have  North  America;  and- 

"I  beg  pardon,"  put  in  Dr.  Johnson,  "but  have  you  any  idea,  Dr. 
Livingstone,  that  Captain  Kidd  has  put  wheels  on  this  Houseboat 
of  ours  and  is  having  it  dragged  across  the  Sahara  by  mules  or 

camels?" 

"No  such  absurd  idea  ever  entered  my  head,"  retorted  the  doctor. 
"Do  you  then  believe  that  he  has  put  runners  on  it,  and  is  engaged 


194  THE    STRANGER    UNRAVELS    A    MYSTERY 

in  the  pleasurable  pastime  of  taking  the  ladies  tobogganing  down  the 

Alps?"  persisted  the  philosopher. 

"Not  at  all.  Why  do  you  ask?"  queried  the  African  explorer,  ir- 
ritably. 

"Because  I  wish  to  know,"  said  Johnson.  "That  is  always  my  mo- 
tive in  asking  questions.  You  propose  to  go  looking  for  a  houseboat 
in  Central  Africa;  you  suggest  that  Bonaparte  lead  an  expedition  in 
search  of  it  through  Europe  —  all  of  which  strikes  me  as  nonsense. 
This  search  is  the  work  of  sea  dogs,  not  of  landlubbers.  You  might 
as  well  ask  Confucius  to  look  for  it  in  the  heart  of  China.  What 
earthly  use  there  is  in  ransacking  the  earth  I  fail  to  see.  What  we 
need  is  a  naval  expedition  to  scour  the  sea,  unless  it  is  pretty  well 
understood  in  advance  that  we  believe  Kidd  has  hauled  the  boat  out 
of  the  water,  and  is  now  using  it  for  a  roller-skating  rink  or  a  bicycle 
academy  in  Ohio,  or  for  some  other  purpose  for  which  neither  he 
nor  it  was  designed." 

"Dr.  Johnson's  point  is  well  taken,"  said  a  stranger  who  had  been 
sitting  upon  the  stringpiece  of  the  pier,  quietly,  but  with  very  evident 
interest,  listening  to  the  discussion.  He  was  a  tall  and  excessively 
slender  shade,  "like  a  spirt  of  steam  out  of  a  teapot,"  as  Johnson  put 
it  afterwards,  so  slight  he  seemed.  "I  have  not  the  honor  of  being  a 
member  of  this  association,"  the  stranger  continued,  "but,  like  all 
well-ordered  shades,  I  aspire  to  the  distinction,  and  I  hold  myself 
and  my  talents  at  the  disposal  of  this  club.  I  fancy  it  will  not  take  us 
long  to  establish  our  initial  point,  which  is  that  the  gross  person  who 
has  so  foully  appropriated  your  property  to  his  own  base  uses  does 
not  contemplate  removing  it  from  its  keel  and  placing  it  somewhere 
inland.  All  the  evidence  in  hand  points  to  a  radically  different  con- 
clusion, which  is  my  sole  reason  for  doubting  the  value  of  that  con- 
clusion. Captain  Kidd  is  a  seafarer  by  instinct,  not  a  landsman.  The 
Houseboat  is  not  a  house,  but  a  boat;  therefore  the  place  to  look 
for  it  is  not,  as  Dr.  Johnson  so  well  says,  in  the  Sahara  Desert,  or 
on  the  Alps,  or  in  the  State  of  Ohio,  but  upon  the  high  sea,  or  upon 
the  water  front  of  some  one  of  the  world's  great  cities." 

"And  what,  then,  would  be  your  plan?"  asked  Sir  Walter,  im- 
pressed by  the  stranger's  manner  as  well  as  by  the  very  manifest 
reason  in  all  that  he  had  said. 
"The  chartering  of  a  suitable  vessel,  fully  armed  and  equipped 


THE    STRANGER    UNRAVELS    A    MYSTERY  195 

for  the  purpose  of  pursuit.  Ascertain  whither  the  Houseboat  has 
sailed,  for  what  port,  and  start  at  once.  Have  you  a  model  of  the 
Houseboat  within  reach?"  returned  the  stranger. 
"I  think  not;  we  have  the  architect's  plans,  however,"  said  the 

chairman. 

"We  had,  Mr.  Chairman,"  said  Demosthenes,  who  was  secretary 
of  the  House  Committee,  rising,  "but  they  are  gone  with  the  House- 
boat itself.  They  were  kept  in  the  safe  in  the  hold." 

A  look  of  annoyance  came  into  the  face  of  the  stranger. 

"That's  too  bad,"  he  said.  "It  was  a  most  important  part  of  my 
plan  that  we  should  know  about  how  fast  the  Houseboat  was." 

"Humph!"  ejaculated  Socrates,  with  ill-concealed  sarcasm.  "If 
you'll  take  Xanthippe's  word  for  it,  the  Houseboat  was  the  fastest 

yacht  afloat." 

"I  refer  to  the  matter  of  speed  in  sailing,"  returned  the  stranger, 
quietly.  "The  question  of  its  ethical  speed  has  nothing  to  do  with  it." 

"The  designer  of  the  craft  is  here,"  said  Sir  Walter,  fixing  his  eyes 
upon  Sir  Christopher  Wren.  "It  is  possible  that  he  may  be  of  assist- 
ance in  settling  that  point." 

"What  has  all  this  got  to  do  with  the  question,  anyhow,  Mr.  Chair- 
man?" asked  Solomon,  rising  impatiently  and  addressing  Sir  Walter. 
"We  aren't  preparing  for  a  yacht  race  that  I  know  of.  Nobody's  after 
a  cup,  or  a  championship  of  any  kind.  What  we  do  want  is  to  get 
our  wives  back.  The  captain  hasn't  taken  more  than  half  of  mine 
along  with  him,  but  I  am  interested  none  the  less.  The  Queen  o£ 
Sheba  is  on  board,  and  I  am  somewhat  interested  in  her  fate.  So  I 
ask  you  what  earthly  or  unearthly  use  there  is  in  discussing  this 
question  of  speed  in  the  Houseboat.  It  strikes  me  as  a  woeful  waste 
of  time,  and  rather  unprecedented  too,  that  we  should  suspend  all 
rules  and  listen  to  the  talk  of  an  entire  stranger." 

"I  do  not  venture  to  doubt  the  wisdom  of  Solomon,"  said  Johnson, 
dryly,  "but  I  must  say  that  the  gentleman's  remarks  rather  interest 

me." 

"Of  course  they  do,"  ejaculated  Solomon.  "He  agreed  with  you. 
That  ought  to  make  him  interesting  to  everybody.  Freaks  usually 


are. 


"That  is  not  the  reason  at  all,"  retorted  Dr.  Johnson.  "Cold  water 
agrees  with  me,  but  it  doesn't  interest  me.  What  I  do  think,  however, 


196  THE    STRANGER    UNRAVELS    A    MYSTERY 

is  that  our  unknown  friend  seems  to  have  a  grasp  on  the  situation 
by  which  we  are  confronted,  and  he's  going  at  the  matter  in  hand 
in  a  very  comprehensive  fashion.  I  move,  therefore,  that  Solomon 
be  laid  on  the  table,  and  that  the  privileges  of  the  — ah  — of  the 
wharf  be  extended  indefinitely  to  our  friend  on  the .  stringpiece." 
The  motion,  having  been  seconded,  was  duly  carried,  and  the 

stranger  resumed. 

"I  will  explain  for  the  benefit  of  his  Majesty  King  Solomon,  whose 
wisdom  I  have  always  admired,  and  whose  endurance  as  the  husband 
of  three  hundred  wives  has  filled  me  with  wonder,"  he  said,  "that 
before  starting  in  pursuit  of  the  stolen  vessel  we  must  select  a  craft 
of  some  sort  for  the  purpose,  and  that  in  selecting  the  pursuer  it  is 
quite  essential  that  we  should  choose  a  vessel  of  greater  speed  than 
the  one  we  desire  to  overtake.  It  would  hardly  be  proper,  I  think, 
if  the  Houseboat  can  sail  four  knots  an  hour,  to  attempt  to  overhaul 
her  with  a  launch,  or  other  nautical  craft,  with  a  maximum  speed 
of  two  knots  an  hour." 

"Hear!  Hear!"  ejaculated  Caesar. 

"That  is  my  reason,  your  Majesty,  for  inquiring  as  to  the  speed 
of  your  late  clubhouse,"  said  the  stranger,  bowing  courteously  to 
Solomon.  "Now  if  Sir  Christopher  Wren  can  give  me  her  measure- 
ments, we  can  very  soon  determine  at  about  what  rate  she  is  leaving 
us  behind  under  favorable  circumstances." 

"  Tisn't  necessary  for  Sir  Christopher  to  do  anything  of  the  sort," 
said  Noah,  rising  and  manifesting  somewhat  more  heat  than  the 
occasion  seemed  to  require.  "As  long  as  we  are  discussing  the  ques- 
tion I  will  take  the  liberty  of  stating  what  I  have  never  mentioned 
before,  that  the  designer  of  the  Houseboat  merely  appropriated  the 
lines  of  the  Ark.  Shem,  Ham,  and  Japheth  will  bear  testimony  to 
the  truth  of  that  statement." 

"There  can  be  no  quarrel  on  that  score,  Mr.  Chairman,"  assented 
Sir  Christopher,  with  cutting  frigidity.  "I  am  perfectly  willing  to 
admit  that  practically  the  two  vessels  were  built  on  the  same  lines, 
but  with  modifications  which  would  enable  my  boat  to  sail  twenty 
miles  to  windward  and  back  in  six  days  less  time  than  it  would 
have  taken  the  Ark  to  cover  the  same  distance,  and  it  could  have 
taken  all  the  wash  of  the  excursion  steamers  into  the  bargain." 
"Bosh!"  ejaculated  Noah,  angrily.  "Strip  your  old  tub  down  to  a 


THE    STRANGER    UNRAVELS    A    MYSTERY  197 

flying  balloon  jib  and  a  marline  spike,  and  ballast  the  Ark  with 
elephants  until  every  inch  of  her  reeked  with  ivory  and  peanuts,  and 
she'd  outfoot  you  on  every  leg,  in  a  cyclone  or  a  zephyr.  Give  me 
the  Ark  and  a  breeze,  and  your  Houseboat  wouldn't  be  within  hail- 
ing distance  of  her  five  minutes  after  the  start  if  she  had  forty  thou- 
sand square  yards  of  canvas  spread  before  a  gale." 

"This  discussion  is  waxing  very  unprofitable,"  observed  Confucius. 
"If  these  gentlemen  cannot  be  made  to  confine  themselves  to  the 
subject  that  is  agitating  this  body,  I  move  we  call  in  the  authorities 
and  have  them  confined  in  the  bottomless  pit." 

"I  did  not  precipitate  the  quarrel,"  said  Noah.  "I  was  merely  try- 
ing to  assist  our  friend  on  the  stringpiece.  I  was  going  to  say  that 
as  the  Ark  was  probably  a  hundred  times  faster  than  Sir  Christopher 
Wren's  —  tub,  which  he  himself  says  can  take  care  of  all  the  wash 
of  the  excursion  boats,  thereby  becoming  on  his  own  admission  a 
wash-tub  —  " 

"Order!  Order!"  cried  Sir  Christopher. 

"I  was  going  to  say  that  this  wash-tub  could  be  overhauled  by  a 
launch  or  any  other  craft  with  a  speed  of  thirty  knots  a  month," 
continued  Noah,  ignoring  the  interruption. 

"Took  him  forty  days  to  get  to  Mount  Ararat!"  sneered  Sir  Christo- 
pher. 

"Well,  your  boat  would  have  got  there  two  weeks  sooner,  I'll  ad- 
mit," retorted  Noah,  "if  she'd  sprung  a  leak  at  the  right  time." 

"Granting  the  truth  of  Noah's  statement  —  "  said  Sir  Walter,  mo- 
tioning to  the  angry  architect  to  be  quiet  —  "not  that  we  take  any 
side  in  the  issue  between  the  two  gentlemen,  but  merely  for  the 
sake  of  argument  —  I  wish  to  ask  the  stranger  who  has  been  good 
enough  to  interest  himself  in  our  trouble  what  he  proposes  to  do  — 
how  can  you  establish  your  course  in  case  a  boat  were  provided?" 

"Oh,"  laughed  the  stranger,  "that  is  a  simple  matter.  Captain  Kidd 
has  gone  to  London." 

"To  London!"  cried  several  members  at  once.  "How  do  you  know 
that?" 

"By  this,"  said  the  stranger,  holding  up  the  tiny  stub  end  of  a 
cigar. 

"Tut-tut!"  ejaculated  Solomon.  "What  child's  play  this  is!" 

"No,  your  Majesty,"  observed  the  stranger,  "it  is  not  child's  play; 


THE    STRANGER    UNRAVELS    A    MYSTERY 
it"  is  fact.  That  cigar  end  was  thrown  aside  here  on  the  wharf  by 
Captain  Kidd  just  before  he  stepped  on  board  the  Houseboat. 

"How  do  you  know  that?"  demanded  Raleigh.  "And  granting  the 
truth  of  the  assertion,  what  does  it  prove?" 

"I  will  tell  you,"  said  the  stranger.  And  he  at  once  proceede 

follows.  .      , 

"I  have  made  a  hobby  of  the  study  of  cigar  ends,    said  the  stranger 
as  the  Associated  Shades  settled  back  to  hear  his  account  of  himself. 
"From  my  earliest  youth,  when  I  used  surreptitiously  to  remove  the 
unsmoked  ends  of  my  father's  cigars  and  break  them  up,  and   in 
hiding,  smoke  them  in  an  old  clay  pipe  which  I  had  presented  to 
me  by  an  ancient  sea  captain  of  my  acquaintance,  I  have  been  inter- 
ested in  tobacco  in  all  forms,  even  including  these  self-same  despised 
unsmoked  ends;  for  they  convey  to  my  mind  messages  sentiments, 
farces,  comedies,  and  tragedies  which  to  your  minds  would  neve: 
corne  manifest  through  their  agency." 

The  company  drew  closer  together  and  formed  themselves  in  a 
more  compact  mass  about  the  speaker.  It  was  evident  that  they  wei 
beginning  to  feel  an  unusual  interest  in  this  extraordinary  person, 
who  had  come  among  them  unheralded  and  unknown 

"Do  you  mean  to  tell  us,"  demanded  Shakespeare,  "that  the  un- 
smoked stub  of  a  clgar  will  suggest  the  story  of  him  who  smc 

to  your  mind?"  .       ,. 

"I  do,"  replied  the  stranger,  with  a  confident  smile.    Take 
one,  for  instance,  that  I  have  picked  up  here  upon  the  wharf;  it  tells 
me  the  whole  story  of  the  intentions  of  Captain  Kidd  at  the  moment 
when,  in  utter  disregard  of  your  rights,  he  stepped  aboard  your 
Houseboat,  and,  in  his  usual  piratical  fashion,  made  off  with  i 

unknown  seas."  , 

"But  how  do  you  know  he  smoked  it?"  asked  Solomon,  who 
deemed  it  the  part  of  wisdom  to  be  suspicious  of  the  stranger. 

"There  are  two  curious  indentations  in  it  which  prove  that.  . 
marks  of  two  teeth,  with  a  hiatus  between,  which  you  will  see  it 
you  look  closely,"  said  the  stranger,  handing  the  small  bit  of  tobacco 
to  Sir  Walter,  "make  that  point  evident  beyond  peradventure.  I  he 
Captain  lost  an  eyetooth  in  one  of  his  later  raids;  it  was  knocked 
out  by  a  marline  spike  which  had  been  hurled  at  him  by  one  of  the 
crew  of  the  treasure  ship  he  and  his  followers  had  attacked. 


THE    STRANGER    UNRAVELS    A    MYSTERY  199 

adjacent  teeth  were  broken,  but  hot  removed.  The  cigar  end  bears 
the  marks  of  those  two  jagged  molars,  with  the  hiatus,  which,  as  I 
have  indicated,  is  due  to  the  destruction  of  the  eyetooth  between 
them.  It  is  not  likely  that  there  was  another  man  in  the  pirate's  crew 
with  teeth  exactly  like  the  commander's,  therefore  I  say  there  can  be 
no  doubt  that  the  cigar  end  was  that  of  the  Captain  himself." 

"Very  interesting  indeed,"  observed  Blackstone,  removing  his  wig 
and  fanning  himself  with  it;  "but  I  must  confess,  Mr.  Chairman, 
that  in  any  properly  constituted  law  court  this  evidence  would  long 
since  have  been  ruled  out  as  irrelevant  and  absurd.  The  idea  of  two 
or  three  hundred  dignified  spirits  like  ourselves,  gathered  together 
to  devise  a  means  for  the  recovery  of  our  property  and  the  rescue  of 
our  wives,  yielding  the  floor  to  the  delivering  of  a  lecture  by  an  entire 
stranger  on  'Cigar  Ends  He  Has  Met,'  strikes  me  as  ridiculous  in 
the  extreme.  Of  what  earthly  interest  is  it  to  us  to  know  that  this  or 
that  cigar  was  smoked  by  Captain  Kidd?" 

"Merely  that  it  will  help  us  on,  your  honor,  to  discover  the  where- 
abouts of  the  said  Kidd,"  interposed  the  stranger.  "It  is  by  trifles, 
seeming  trifles,  that  the  greatest  detective  work  is  done.  My  friends 
Lecoq,  Hawkshaw,  and  Old  Sleuth  will  bear  me  out  in  diis,  I  think, 
however  much  in  other  respects  our  methods  may  have  differed. 
They  left  no  stone  unturned  in  the  pursuit  of  a  criminal;  no  detail, 
however  trifling,  uncared  for.  No  more  should  we  in  the  present 
instance  overlook  the  minutest  bit  of  evidence,  however  irrelevant 
and  absurd  at  first  blush  it  may  appear  to  be.  The  truth  of  what  I 
say  was  very  effectually  proven  in  the  strange  case  of  the  Brokedale 
tiara,  in  which  I  figured  somewhat  conspicuously,  but  which  I  have 
never  made  public,  because  it  involves  a  secret  affecting  the  integrity 
of  one  of  the  noblest  families  in  the  British  Empire.  I  really  believe 
that  mystery  was  solved  easily  and  at  once  because  I  happened  to 
remember  that  the  number  of  my  watch  was  865076.  How  trivial  a 
thing,  and  yet  how  important  it  was,  as  the  event  transpired,  you 
will  realize  when  I  tell  you  the  incident." 

The  stranger's  manner  was  so  impressive  that  there  was  a  unani- 
mous and  simultaneous  movement  upon  the  part  of  all  present  to 
get  up  closer,  so  as  the  more  readily  to  hear  what  he  said,  as  a  result 
of  which  poor  old  Boswell  was  pushed  overboard,  and  fell  with  a 
loud  splash  into  the  Styx.  Fortunately,  however,  one  of  Charon's 


200  THE    STRANGER    UNRAVELS    A    MYSTERY 

pleasure  boats  was  close  at  hand,  and  in  a  short  while  the  dripping, 
sputtering  spirit  was  drawn  into  it,  wrung  out,  and  sent  home  to  dry. 
The  excitement  attending  this  diversion  having  subsided,  Solomon 

asked : 

"What  was  the  incident  of  the  lost  tiara?" 

"I  am  about  to  tell  you,"  returned  the  stranger;  "and  it  must  be 
understood  that  you  are  told  in  the  strictest  confidence,  for,  as  I  say, 
the  incident  involves  a  state  secret  of  great  magnitude.  In  life  —  in 
the  mortal  life  —  gentlemen,  I  was  a  detective  by  profession,  and,  if 
I  do  say  it,  who  perhaps  should  not,  I  was  one  of  the  most  interesting 
for  purely  literary  purposes  that  has  ever  been  known.  I  did  not  find 
it  necessary  to  go  about  saying  'Ha!  ha!'  as  M.  Lecoq  was  accustomed 
to  do  to  advertise  his  cleverness;  neither  did  I  disguise  myself  as  a 
drum-major  and  hide  under  a  kitchen  table  for  the  purpose  of  solving 
a  mystery  involving  the  abduction  of  a  parlor  stove,  after  the  manner 
of  the  talented  Hawkshaw.  By  mental  concentration  alone,  without 
fireworks  or  orchestral  accompaniment  of  any  sort  whatsoever,  did 
I  go  about  my  business,  and  for  that  very  reason  many  of  my  fellow 
sleuths  were  forced  to  go  out  of  real  detective  work  into  that  line 
of  the  business  with  which  the  stage  has  familiarized  the  most  of  us 
—  a  line  in  which  nothing  but  stupidity,  luck,  and  a  yellow  wig  is 
required  of  him  who  pursues  it." 

"This  man  is  an  impostor,"  whispered  Lecoq  to  Hawkshaw. 

"I've  known  that  all  along  by  the  mole  on  his  left  wrist,"  returned 
Hawkshaw,  contemptuously. 

"I  suspected  it  the  minute  I  saw  he  was  not  disguised,"  returned 
Lecoq,  knowingly.  "I  have  observed  that  the  greatest  villains  latterly 
have  discarded  disguises,  as  being  too  easily  penetrated,  and  therefore 
of  no  avail,  and  merely  a  useless  expense." 

"Silence!"  cried  Confucius,  impatiently.  "How  can  the  gentleman 
proceed,  with  all  this  conversation  going  on  in  the  rear?" 

Hawkshaw  and  Lecoq  immediately  subsided,  and  the  stranger 

went  on. 

"It  was  in  this  way  that  I  treated  the  strange  case  of  the  lost  tiara, 
resumed  the  stranger.  "Mental  concentration  upon  seemingly  insig- 
nificant details  alone  enabled  me  to  bring  about  the  desired  results 
in  that  instance.  A  brief  outline  of  the  case  is  as  follows:  It  was  late 
one  evening  in  the  early  spring  of  1894.  The  London  season  was  at 


THE    STRANGER    UNRAVELS    A    MYSTERY  2OI 

its  height.  Dances,  fetes  of  all  kinds,  opera,  and  the  theaters  were 
in  full  blast,  when  all  of  a  sudden  society  was  paralyzed  by  a  most 
audacious  robbery.  A  diamond  tiara  valued  at  ^50,000  sterling  had 
been  stolen  from  the  Duchess  of  Brokedale,  and  under  circumstances 
which  threw  society  itself  and  every  individual  in  it  under  suspicion 
—  even  his  Royal  Highness  the  Prince  himself,  for  he  had  danced 
frequently  with  the  Duchess,  and  was  known  to  be  a  great  admirer 
of  her  tiara.  It  was  at  half-past  eleven  o'clock  at  night  that  the  news 
of  the  robbery  first  came  to  my  ears.  I  had  been  spending  the  evening 
alone  in  my  library  making  notes  for  a  second  volume  of  my  mem- 
oirs, and,  feeling  somewhat  depressed,  I  was  on  the  point  of  going 
out  for  my  usual  midnight  walk  on  Hampstead  Heath,  when  one 
of  my  servants,  hastily  entering,  informed  me  of  the  robbery.  I 
changed  my  mind  in  respect  to  my  midnight  walk  immediately  upon 
receipt  of  the  news,  for  I  knew  that  before  one  o'clock  someone 
would  call  upon  me  at  my  lodgings  with  reference  to  this  robbery. 
It  could  not  be  otherwise.  Any  mystery  of  such  magnitude  could  no 
more  be  taken  to  another  bureau  than  elephants  could  fly  - 

"They  used  to,"  said  Adam.  "I  once  had  a  whole  aviary  full  of 
winged  elephants.  They  flew  from  flower  to  flower,  and  thrusting 
their  probabilities  deep  into  —  " 

"Their  what?"  queried  Johnson,  with  a  frown. 

"Probabilities  —  isn't  that  the  word?  Their  trunks,"  said  Adam. 

"Probosces,  I  imagine  you  mean,"  suggested  Johnson. 

"Yes  —  that  was  it.  Their  probosces,"  said  Adam.  "They  were  great 
honey  gatherers,  those  elephants  —  far  better  than  the  bees,  because 
they  could  make  so  much  more  of  it  in  a  given  time." 

Munchausen  shook  his  head  sadly.  "I'm  afraid  I'm  outclassed  by 
these  antediluvians,"  he  said. 

"Gentlemen!  Gentlemen!"  cried  Sir  Walter.  "These  interruptions 

are  inexcusable!" 

"That's  what  I  think,"  said  the  stranger,  with  some  asperity.  "I'm 
having  about  as  hard  a  time  getting  this  story  out  as  I  would  if  it  were 
a  serial.  Of  course,  if  you  gentlemen  do  not  wish  to  hear  it,  I  can 
stop;  but  it  must  be  understood  that  when  I  do  stop  I  stop  finally, 
once  and  for  all,  because  the  tale  has  not  a  sufficiency  of  dramatic 
climaxes  to  warrant  its  prolongation  over  the  usual  magazine  period 
of  twelve  months." 


202  THE    STRANGER    UNRAVELS    A    MYSTERY 

"Go  on!  go  on!"  cried  some. 

"Shut  up!"  cried  others  —  addressing  the  interrupting  members, 
of  course. 

"As  I  was  saying,"  resumed  the  stranger,  "I  felt  confident  that 
within  an  hour,  in  some  way  or  other,  that  case  would  be  placed  in 
my  hands.  It  would  be  mine  either  positively  or  negatively  —  that  is 
to  say,  either  the  person  robbed  would  employ  me  to  ferret  out  the 
mystery  and  recover  the  diamonds,  or  the  robber  himself,  actuated 
by  motives  of  self-preservation,  would  endeavor  to  direct  my  en- 
ergies into  other  channels  until  he  should  have  the  time  to  dispose  of 
his  ill-gotten  booty.  A  mental  discussion  of  the  probabilities  inclined 
me  to  believe  that  the  latter  would  be  the  case.  I  reasoned  in  this 
fashion:  The  person  robbed  is  of  exalted  rank.  She  cannot  move 
rapidly  because  she  is  so.  Great  bodies  move  slowly.  It  is  probable 
that  it  will  be  a  week  before,  according  to  the  etiquette  by  which  she  is 
hedged  about,  she  can  communicate  with  me.  In  the  first  place,  she 
must  inform  one  of  her  attendants  that  she  has  been  robbed.  He 
must  communicate  the  news  to  the  functionary  in  charge  of  her 
residence,  who  will  communicate  with  the  Home  Secretary,  and 
from  him  will  issue  the  orders  to  the  police,  who,  baffled  at  every 
step,  will  finally  address  themselves  to  me.  Til  give  that  side  two 
weeks,'  I  said.  On  the  other  hand,  the  robber:  will  he  allow  him- 
self to  be  lulled  into  a  false  sense  of  security  by  counting  on  this 
delay,  or  will  he   not,  noting  my  habit  of  occasionally  entering 
upon  detective  enterprises  of  this  nature  of  my  own  volition,  come 
to  me  at  once  and  set  me  to  work  ferreting  out  some  crime  that 
has  never  been  committed  ?  My  feeling  was  that  this  would  happen, 
and  I  pulled  out  my  watch  to  see  if  it  were  not  nearly  time  for  him 
to  arrive.  The  robbery  had  taken  place  at  a  state  ball  at  the  Bucking- 
ham Palace.  'H'm!'  I  mused.  'He  has  had  an  hour  and  forty  minutes 
to  get  here.  It  is  now  twelve-twenty.  He  should  be  here  by  twelve- 
forty-five.  I  will  wait.'  And  hastily  swallowing  a  cocaine  tablet  to  nerve 
myself  up  for  the  meeting,  I  sat  down  and  began  to  read  my  Schopen- 
hauer. Hardly  had  I  perused  a  page  when  there  came  a  tap  upon  my 
door.  I  rose  with  a  smile,  for  I  thought  I  knew  what  was  to  happen, 
opened  the  door,  and  there  stood,  much  to  my  surprise,  the  husband 
of  the  lady  whose  tiara  was  missing.  It  was  the  Duke  of  Brokedale 
himself.  It  is  true  he  was  disguised.  His  beard  was  powdered  until 


THE    STRANGER    UNRAVELS    A    MYSTERY  203 

it  looked  like  snow,  and  he  wore  a  wig  and  a  pair  of  green  goggles; 
but  I  recognized  him  at  once  by  his  lack  of  manners,  which  is  an  un- 
mistakable sign  of  nobility.  As  I  opened  the  door,  he  began: 

"'You  are  Mr.  — ' 

"  'I  am,'  I  replied.  'Come  in.  You  have  come  to  see  me  about  your 
stolen  watch.  It  is  a  gold  hunting-case  watch  with  a  Swiss  move- 
ment; loses  five  minutes  a  day;  stem  winder;  and  the  back  cover, 
which  does  not  bear  any  inscription,  has  upon  it  the  indentations 
made  by  the  molars  of  your  son  Willie  when  that  interesting  youth 
was  cutting  his  teeth  upon  it.' ' 

"Wonderful!"  cried  Johnson. 

"May  I  ask  how  you  knew  all  that?"  asked  Solomon,  deeply  im- 
pressed. "Such  penetration  strikes  me  as  marvelous." 

"I  didn't  know  it,"  replied  the  stranger,  with  a  smile.  "What  I  said 
was  intended  to  be  jocular,  and  to  put  Brokedale  at  his  ease.  The 
Americans  present,  with  their  usual  astuteness,  would  term  it  bluff. 
It  was.  I  merely  rattled  on.  I  simply  did  not  wish  to  offend  the  gentle- 
man by  letting  him  know  that  I  had  penetrated  his  disguise.  Imagine 
my  surprise,  however,  when  his  eye  brightened  as  I  spoke,  and  he 
entered  my  room  with  such  alacrity  that  half  the  powder  which  he 
thought  disguised  his  beard  was  shaken  off  onto  the  floor.  Sitting 
down  in  the  chair  I  had  just  vacated,  he  quietly  remarked: 

"  'You  are  a  wonderful  man,  sir.  How  did  you  know  that  I  had 
lost  my  watch?' 

"For  a  moment  I  was  nonplused;  more  than  that,  I  was  completely 
staggered.  I  had  expected  him  to  say  at  once  that  he  had  not  lost 
his  watch,  but  had  come  to  see  me  about  the  tiara;  and  to  have  him 
take  my  words  seriously  was  entirely  unexpected  and  overwhelmingly 
surprising.  However,  in  view  of  his  rank,  I  deemed  it  well  to  fall  in 
with  his  humor.  'Oh,  as  for  that,'  I  replied,  'that  is  a  part  of  my 
business.  It  is  the  detective's  place  to  know  everything;  and  generally, 
if  he  reveals  the  machinery  by  means  of  which  he  reaches  his  con- 
clusions, he  is  a  fool,  since  his  method  is  his  secret,  and  his  secret  his 
stock  in  trade.  I  do  not  mind  telling  you,  however,  that  I  knew  your 
watch  was  stolen  by  your  anxious  glance  at  my  clock,  which  showed 
that  you  wished  to  know  the  time.  Now  most  rich  Americans  have 
watches  for  that  purpose,  and  have  no  hesitation  about  showing 
them.  If  you'd  had  a  watch,  you'd  have  looked  at  it,  not  at  my  clock.' 


204  THE    STRANGER    UNRAVELS    A    MYSTERY 

"My  visitor  laughed,  and  repeated  what  he  had  said  about  my 
being  a  wonderful  man. 

"  'And  the  dents  which  my  son  made  cutting  his  teeth?'  he  added. 
"  'Invariably  go  with  an  American's  watch.  Rubber  or  ivory  rings 
aren't  good  enough  for  American  babies  to  chew  on,'  said  I.  'They 
must  have  gold  watches  or  nothing.' 

"  'And  finally,  how  did  you  know  I  was  a  rich  American  ?'  he  asked. 

"  'Because  no  other  can  afford  to  stop  at  hotels  like  the  Savoy  in 

the  height  of  the  season,'  I  replied,  thinking  that  the  jest  would  end 

there,  and  that  he  would  now  reveal  his  identity  and  speak  of  the  tiara. 

To  my  surprise,  however,  he  did  nothing  of  the  sort. 

"  'You  have  an  almost  supernatural  gift,'  he  said.  'My  name  is 
Bunker.  I  am  stopping  at  the  Savoy.  I  am  an  American.  I  was  rich 
when  I  arrived  here,  but  I'm  not  quite  so  bloated  with  wealth  as  I 
was,  now  that  I  have  paid  my  first  week's  bill.  I  have  lost  my  watch; 
such  a  watch,  too,  as  you  describe,  even  to  the  dents.  Your  only 
mistake  was  that  the  dents  were  made  by  my  son  John,  and  not 
Willie;  but  even  there  I  cannot  but  wonder  at  you,  for  John  and 
Willie  are  twins,  and  so  much  alike  that  it  sometimes  baffles  even 
their  mother  to  tell  them  apart.  The  watch  has  no  very  great  value 
intrinsically,  but  the  associations  are  such  that  I  want  it  back,  and  I 
will  pay  ^200  for  its  recovery.  I  have  no  clue  as  to  who  took  it.  It 
was  numbered  — ' 

"Here  a  happy  thought  struck  me.  In  all  my  description  of  the 
watch  I  had  merely  described  my  own,  a  very  cheap  affair  which  I 
had  won  at  a  raffle.  My  visitor  was  deceiving  me,  though  for  what 
purpose  I  did  not  on  the  instant  divine.  No  one  would  like  to  suspect 
him  of  having  purloined  his  wife's  tiara.  Why  should  I  not  deceive 
him,  and  at  the  same  time  get  rid  of  my  poor  chronometer  for  a 
sum  that  exceeded  its  value  a  hundredfold?" 
"Good  business!"  cried  Shy  lock. 
The  stranger  smiled  and  bowed. 

"Excellent,"  he  said.  "I  took  the  words  right  out  of  his  mouth.  'It 
was  numbered  865076!'  I  cried,  giving,  of  course,  the  number  of  my 
own  watch. 

"He  gazed  at  me  narrowly  for  a  moment,  and  then  he  smiled. 
'You  grow  more  marvelous  at  every  step.  That  was  indeed  the 
number.  Are  you  a  demon?' 


THE    STRANGER    UNRAVELS    A    MYSTERY  205 

"  'No,'  I  replied.  'Only  something  of  a  mind  reader.' 
"Well,  to  be  brief,  the  bargain  was  struck.  I  was  to  look  for  a  watch 
that  I  knew  he  hadn't  lost,  and  was  to  receive  £200  if  I  found  it. 
It  seemed  to  him  to  be  a  very  good  bargain,  as,  indeed,  it  was,  from 
his  point  of  view,  feeling,  as  he  did,  that  there  never  having  been  any 
such  watch,  it  could  not  be  recovered,  and  little  suspecting  that  two 
could  play  at  his  little  game  of  deception,  and  that  under  any  cir- 
cumstances I  could  foist  a  ten-shilling  watch  upon  him  for  two 
hundred  pounds.  This  business  concluded,  he  started  to  go. 

"'Won't  you  have  a  little  Scotch?'  I  asked,  as  he  started,  feeling, 
with  all  that  prospective  profit  in  view,  I  could  well  afford  the  ex- 
pense. 'It  is  a  stormy  night.' 

"  'Thanks,  I  will,'  said  he,  returning  and  seating  himself  by  my 
table  — still,  to  my  surprise,  keeping  his  hat  on. 

"  'Let  me  take  your  hat,'  I  said,  little  thinking  that  my  courtesy 
would  reveal  the  true  state  of  affairs.  The  mere  mention  of  the  word 
hat  brought  about  a  terrible  change  in  my  visitor;  his  knees  trembled, 
his  face  grew  ghastly,  and  he  clutched  the  brim  of  his  beaver  until 
it  cracked.  He  then  nervously  removed  it,  and  I  noticed  a  dull  red 
mark  running  about  his  forehead,  just  as  there  would  be  on  the 
forehead  of  a  man  whose  hat  fitted  too  tightly;  and  that  mark, 
gentlemen,  had  the  undulating  outline  of  nothing  more  nor  less  than 
a  tiara,  and  on  the  apex  of  the  uppermost  extremity  was  a  deep 
indentation  about  the  size  of  a  shilling,  that  could  have  been  made 
only  by  some  adamantine  substance!  The  mystery  was  solved! 
robber  of  the  Duchess  of  Brokedale  stood  before  me." 

A  suppressed  murmur  of  excitement  went  through  the  assembled 
spirits,  and  even  Messrs.  Hawkshaw  and  Lecoq  were  silent  in  the 
presence  of  such  genius. 

"My  plan  of  action  was  immediately  formulated.  The  man  was 
completely  at  my  mercy.  He  had  stolen  the  tiara,  and  had  it  con- 
cealed in  the  lining  of  his  hat.  I  rose  and  locked  the  door.  My  visitor 
sank  with  a  groan  into  my  chair. 
"  'Why  did  you  do  that?'  he  stammered,  as  I  turned  the  key  in  the 

lock. 

"'To  keep  my  Scotch  whisky  from  evaporating,'  I  said,  dryly. 
'Now,  my  lord,'  I  added,  'it  will  pay  your  Grace  to  let  me  have  your 
hat.  I  know  who  you  are.  You  are  the  Duke  of  Brokedale.  The 


206  THE    STRANGER    UNRAVELS    A    MYSTERY 

Duchess  of  Brokedale  has  lost  a  valuable  tiara  of  diamonds,  and  you 
have  not  lost  your  watch.  Somebody  has  stolen  the  diamonds,  and 
it  may  be  that  somewhere  there  is  a  Bunker  who  has  lost  such  a 
watch  as  I  have  described.  The  queer  part  of  it  all  is  - '  I  continued, 
handina  him  the  decanter,  and  taking  a  couple  of  loaded  six-shooters 
out  of  my  escritoire  -  'the  queer  part  of  it  all  is  that  I  have  the  watch 
and  you  have  the  tiara.  We'll  swap  the  swag.  Hand  over  the  bauble, 

please.' 

"  'But  — '  he  began. 

"  'We  won't  have  any  butting,  your  Grace,'  said  I.  Til  give  you  the 
watch,  and  you  needn't  mind  the  £200;  and  you  must  give  me  the 
tiara,  or  I'll  accompany  you  forthwith  to  the  police,  and  have  a 
search  made  of  your  hat.  It  won't  pay  you  to  defy  me.  Give  it  up.' 

"He  gave  up  the  hat  at  once,  and,  as  I  suspected,  there  lay  the 
tiara,  snugly  stowed  away  behind  the  head-band. 

"  'You  are  a  great  fellow,'  said  I,  as  I  held  the  tiara  up  to  the  light 
and  watched  with  pleasure  the  flashing  brilliance  of  its  gems. 

"  'I  beg  you'll  not  expose  me,'  he  moaned.  'I  was  driven  to  it  by 

necessity.' 

"  'Not  I,'  I  replied.  'As  long  as  you  play  fair  it  will  be  all  right. 
I'm  not  going  to  keep  this  thing.  I'm  not  married,  and  so  have  no 
use  for  such  a  trifle;  but  what  I  do  intend  is  simply  to  wait  until  your 
wife  retains  me  to  find  it,  and  then  I'll  find  it  and  get  the  reward.  If 
you  keep  perfectly  still,  I'll  have  it  found  in  such  a  fashion  that  you'll 
never  be  suspected.  If,  on  the  other  hand,  you  say  a  word  about  to- 
night's events,  I'll  hand  you  over  to  the  police.' 
"  'Humph!'  he  said.  'You  couldn't  prove  a  case  against  me.' 
"  'I  can  prove  any  case  against  anybody,'  I  retorted.  'If  you  don't 
believe  it,  read  my  book,'  I  added,  and  I  handed  him  a  copy  of  my 

memoirs. 

"  Tve  read  it,'  he  answered,  'and  I  ought  to  have  known  better  than 
to  come  here.  I  thought  you  were  only  a  literary  success.'  And  with 
a  deep-drawn  sigh  he  took  the  watch  and  went  out.  Ten  days  later 
I  was  retained  by  the  Duchess,  and  after  a  pretended  search  of  ten 
days  more  I  found  the  tiara,  restored  it  to  the  noble  lady,  and  received 
the  £5000  reward.  The  Duke  kept  perfectly  quiet  about  our  little 
encounter,  and  afterwards  we  became  stanch  friends;  for  he  was  a 
good  fellow,  and  was  driven  to  his  desperate  deed  only  by  the  demands 


THE    STRANGER    UNRAVELS    A    MYSTERY 


2O7 


of  his  creditors,  and  the  following  Christmas  he  sent  me  the  watch  I 
had  given  him,  with  the  best  wishes  of  the  season. 

"So,  you  see,  gentlemen,  in  a  moment,  by  quick  wit  and  a  mental 
concentration  of  no  mean  order,  combined  with  strict  observance  of 
the  pettiest  details,  I  ferreted  out  what  bade  fair  to  become  a  great 
diamond  mystery." 

"Hear!  Hear!"  cried  Raleigh,  growing  tumultuous  with  enthu- 
siasm. 

"Your  name?  Your  name?"  came  from  all  parts  of  the  wharf. 

The  stranger,  putting  his  hand  into  the  folds  of  his  coat,  drew  forth 
a  bundle  of  business  cards,  which  he  tossed,  as  the  prestidigitator 
tosses  playing  cards,  out  among  the  audience,  and  on  each  of  them 
was  found  printed  the  words: 


SHERLOCK  HOLMES 
DETECTIVE 


FERRETING    DONE    HERE 


Plots  for  Sale 


Detective:  SHYLOCK  HOMES 


SHYLOCK   HOMES: 
HIS   POSTHUMOUS   MEMOIRS 

Mr.  Homes  Solves  a  Question  of  Authorship 
by  JOHN  KENDR1CK  BANGS 


John  Kendric\  Bangs  wrote  a  series  of  parodies  which  were 
syndicated  in  American  newspapers  in  1903  under  the  title 
"Shyloc^  Homes:  His  Posthumous  Memoirs"  Your  Editors 
have  tracked  down  eight  of  this  series  —  but  certain  curious 
evidence  exists  indicating  there  may  have  been  more.  At  the 
time  of  this  writing,  however,  all  efforts  to  smof^e  out  the 
"missing  memoirs"  have  jailed. 

For  some  unknown  reason  this  series  was  never  published  in 
boo\  form.  As  a  result  Shyloc{  Homes  is  "lost"  today  —  almost 
completely  forgotten  except  by  a  handful  of  oldtimers  with 
long  white  memories.  It  is  a  special  privilege,  therefore,  to 
memorialize  one  of  Shyloc^  Homes' s  cases  between  covers  for 
the  first  time. 

In  this  adventure  Homes  acts  in  behalf  of  three  famous 
and /or  infamous  ladies  —  Lucretia  Borgia,  Mme.  du  Barry, 
and  Portia.  He  reveals  to  them  his  great  powers  as  a  cipher- 
ologist,  and  in  solving  one  of  the  most  baffling  mysteries  of 
all  time,  Homes  proves  himself  not  only  a  detective  but  a 
literary  detective  to  boot! 


T 

J-H 


.  HERE  had  been  some  acrimonious  discussion  at  the  last  session  of 
the  Cimmerian  Branch  of  Sorosis  over  the  authorship  of  the  works 
of  William  Shakespeare.  Cleopatra  had  read  a  paper  of  some  clever- 
ness which  proved  to  its  fair  author,  at  least,  that  the  plays  that  have 
come  down  to  us  from  the  Golden  Age  of  Letters  were  from  the  pen 


SHYLOCK  HOMES:  HIS  POSTHUMOUS  MEMOIRS      209 

of  a  syndicate,  of  which  Shakespeare  was  the  managing  director. 
Xanthippe,  in  a  satirical  philippic,  demonstrated  beyond  peradventure 
that  they  were  written  by  Guy  Fawkes;  Queen  Elizabeth  was  strong 
in  the  debate  in  the  affirmation  of  Bacon's  responsibility  for  the 
works;  Mrs.  Noah  proved  an  alibi  for  her  husband,  and  Anne 
Hathaway,  when  called  upon  to  speak,  observed  that  she  had  never 
heard  of  them  at  all.  The  discussion  waxed  so  fast  and  furious  that 
in  order  to  prevent  the  disruption  of  the  society  a  committee  of  three, 
consisting  of  Lucretia  Borgia,  Mme.  du  Barry  and  Portia,  was  ap- 
pointed to  wait  upon  myself  with  the  request  that  I  solve  the  mystery 
on  behalf  of  the  club,  promising  to  abide  by  whatever  decision  I 
might  render  in  the  matter.  The  ladies  mentioned  did  me  the  honor 
to  call  at  my  office,  where  they  laid  the  whole  question  before  me. 

"We  shall  be  glad  to  lay  before  you  any  evidence  at  our  disposal," 
said  Portia.  "I  for  one  have  worked  out  a  cipher  which  seems  to  me 
conclusively  to  prove  Bacon's  authorship,  but,  of  course,  you  can  take 
it  or  reject  it,  just  as  you  please." 

Thereupon  she  handed  me  a  slip  of  paper,  upon  which  the  following 
was  written: 


Two  Gentlemen  o 

Hen 

Merch 

Much  Ado  About 
Ri 
K 
A 


F 

Verona 

R 
A 

yV 
nt  of  Venice 

N 
C 

othing 
hard  III 

I 

s 

ng  John 
You  Like  It 

M 

4 
6 

'3 

3 

2 


Mac 

B 

eth 

4 

T 

A 

ming  of  the  Shrew 

2 

C 

omedy  of  Errors 

I 

Cori 

O 

lanus 

5 

Timo 

N 

of  Athens 

5 

Total 

61 

I  glanced  the  acrostic  over  with  interest,  and  then  I  asked: 
"But  what  does  this  prove?" 

"Bacon  was  born  in  '61,"  replied  Portia,  "which  number  is  the 
sum  total  of  the  letters  that  spell  out  his  name  in  the  plays  I  have  put 


M 

on  of  Athens 

3 

R 

chant  of  Venice 

3 

D 

o  About  Nothing 

6 

O 

hn 

6 

O 

riolanus 

2 

L 

ius  Caesar 

3 

E 

o  and  Juliet 

4 

Y 

V 

_5 

Total 

32 

210       SHYLOCK    HOMES  I    HIS    POSTHUMOUS    MEMOIRS 

down  there.  Certainly  such  a  coincidence,  Mr.  Homes,  is  not  without 
significance." 

Lucretia  Borgia  sneered. 

Foreseeing  a  quarrel  of  stupendous  proportions,  I  quickly  inter- 
vened. "Now,"  I  said,  "I'm  something  of  %  cipherologist  myself,  and 
I  should  like  to  see  what  I  could  prove  to  you  in  the  same  line.  Sup- 
pose we  try  this  arrangement,"  and  I  wrote  out  the  following: 

Ti 

Me 

Much  A 

KingJ 

C 

Ju 

Rom 
Henr 


"Well,"  sneered  Portia,  in  that  freezing  tone  of  hers,  "what  of  it?" 

"Only  that  the  numbered  letters  of  the  cipher  foot  up  to  thirty-two, 
which  is  Mr.  Dooley's  age,  his  books  are  all  32mos  and  for  two  years 
he  has  been  getting  thirty-two  cents  a  word  for  all  he  writes,"  I  ex- 
plained. "My  dear  ladies,"  I  added,  rising,  "these  things  are  interest- 
ing, but  they  prove  nothing.  By  them  you  can  prove  that  almost 
anybody,  except  Sienkiewicz,  wrote  Shakespeare's  plays  —  aye,  even 
Hall  Caine  and  Marie  Corelli." 

"Why  not  Sienkiewicz?"  asked  Portia,  icily. 

"Because,  as  you  will  observe  from  a  glance  at  the  backs  of  the 
immortal  bard's  works,  there  is  no  'z'  in  any  of  Shakespeare's  titles, 
madam,"  I  replied. 

"How  about  'Julius  Caesar'?"  she  demanded,  hastily. 

"A  good  play,  madam,"  I  replied  promptly,  "but  spelled  with 

an  V  " 

And  then  I  entered  upon  the  enterprise,  which,  I  must  confess, 
startled  even  myself  in  the  manner  of  its  ending.  The  first  thing  I 
did  was  to  call  upon  Sir  Francis  Bacon.  He  received  me  in  the  library 
of  his  villa  at  Noxmere,  and  I  found  him  a  most  interesting  personage. 

"What  can  I  do  for  Mr.  Shylock  Homes?"  he  asked,  after  we  had 
exchanged  the  civilities  of  the  moment. 


SHYLOCK  HOMES:  HIS  POSTHUMOUS  MEMOIRS     211 

"Well,  Sir  Francis,"  I  replied,  "I  have  a  somewhat  delicate  mission. 
I  would  like  to  make  use  of  your  keenly  critical  mind  to  solve  a 
disputed  authorship." 

"Aha!"  he  cried,  betraying  no  little  nervousness.  "You  are  not 
taking  up  literary  detection,  I  hope?" 

"Yes,  I  am,  Sir  Francis,"  I  answered,  "and  my  reputation  is  at 
stake.  I  wish  to  save  it  —  " 

"And  cause  me  to  lose  mine  by  so  doing!"  he  cried,  impetuously, 
rising  and  pacing  the  room  like  a  caged  tiger. 

"I  don't  understand  you,  Sir  Francis,"  I  said.  "I  certainly  would  not 
have  you  lose  your  reputation  to  save  my  own.  Are  you  under  sus- 
picion in  any  literary  controversy?"  I  added,  innocently. 

Bacon  eyed  me  narrowly,  and  then  sat  down. 

"Not  that  I  am  aware  of,"  he  said,  with  a  sigh  of  relief,  "although 
—  well,  never  mind.  What  is  the  mystery  you  wish  to  solve?" 

The  action  had  begun  sooner  than  I  had  expected.  It  was  clear 
that  His  Lordship  was  much  perturbed  at  the  intrusion  of  myself 
into  his  affairs,  and  so,  to  throw  him  off  the  scent,  instead  of  asking 
him  frankly  the  question,  "Did  you  or  did  you  not  write  Shakespeare's 
plays?"  as  I  had  come  to  do,  I  answered,  choosing  my  words  by  the 
merest  chance,  "That  of  Dr.  Jekyll  and  Mr.  Hyde." 

If  I  had  thrown  a  bomb  into  the  middle  of  the  library  the  effect 
could  not  have  been  more  dramatic.  Bacon  jumped  up  as  if  he 
had  been  shot,  but  I  paid  no  attention,  going  on  with  my  question 
calmly. 

"Was  that  story  romance  or  realism?" 

"You  have  the  subtlety  of  the  serpent,  Mr.  Shylock  Homes,"  he 
answered,  with  difficulty  regaining  his  composure.  "Why  do  you  ask 
me,  of  all  men,  that  question?" 

"Because,"  said  I,  a  great  light  dawning  upon  my  mind,  "I  thought 
you,  of  all  men,  could  tell  me." 

"But  why?  Why?  Why?  Why?"  he  cried,  the  reiterated  "whys" 
rising  in  inflection  until  they  ended  in  a  shriek. 

Unconsciously  I  had  struck  a  vein  of  rich  ore,  and  my  future  course 
revealed  itself  to  me  on  the  instant. 

"Because,"  I  said,  "because  you,  of  all  men,  should  know  —  having 
tried  the  same  scheme  yourself." 
The  pallor  that  spread  over  his  countenance  was  deadly,  and  he 


212       SHYLOCK    HOMES  I    HIS    POSTHUMOUS    MEMOIRS 

sank  back  limp  in  his  chair,  but,  as  with  a  sudden  resolve,  he  straight- 
ened up  again  and  became  strong. 

"Great  heavens,  Homes,  where  have  you  heard  this?"  he  implored. 

"Oh,  just  a  little  coterie  to  which  I  belonged  in  London  used  to  take 
that  theory,"  I  lied,  "and  it  found  so  general  an  acceptance  among  us 
and  our  friends  and  our  friends'  friends  that  I  had  supposed  that  by 
this  time  it  was  all  over." 

"You  are  retained  by?"  he  queried. 

"Sorosis,"  said  I. 

"And  your  fee  —  I  will  double  it,  Mr.  Shylock  Homes,  if  you  will 
call  off." 

"I  am  incorruptible,  Sir  Francis,"  said  I,  rising  with  a  mock  show  of 
anger,  "and  I  bid  you  good  evening." 

"Don't  leave  me  in  anger,  Mr.  Homes,"  he  pleaded,  holding  out 
his  hand.  "I  have  long  admired  you  and  your  work,  and  was  frankly 
delighted  when  I  received  your  card.  My  unfortunate  suggestion  as 
to  your  fee  I  deeply  regret.  I,  of  course,  know  that  you  could  not  be 
corrupted,  but  I  so  deprecate  the  prolongation  of  the  controversy  as 
to  my  connection  with  —  er  —  Shakespeare's  works,  that  I  forgot 
myself." 

"Don't  mention  it,  Sir  Francis,"  I  replied,  accepting  his  proffered 
hand.  "I  understand.  And  to  show  you  that  I  have  no  ill  feelings,  I 
wish  you  would  take  luncheon  with  me  next  Wednesday." 

He  fell  into  the  trap  at  once.  "I  shall  be  delighted,"  he  said. 

"And  to  set  forever  at  rest  this  absurd  theory  as  to  you  and  Shake- 
speare being  another  case  of  Jekyll  and  Hyde  I'll  ask  him,  too.  If  you 
are  both  there  you  cannot,  of  course,  be  the  same  man,  you  see." 

Bacon  tottered  and  almost  fell  as  I  spoke,  but  he  soon  recovered  his 
equilibrium. 

"I  —  I  will  see  that  he  accepts,"  he  said,  huskily. 

"Thank  you,"  said  I,  and  took  my  departure. 

Upon  my  return  to  my  office  I  despatched  a  note  to  Shakespeare 
bidding  him  to  the  feast  of  Wednesday,  and  was  somewhat  taken 
aback,  in  view  of  my  theory,  to  receive  an  immediate  acceptance. 
When  I  left  Lord  Bacon  I  was  morally  convinced  that  I  had  fallen 
upon  the  right  solution  of  the  mystery,  but  if  this  were  so  how  could 
both  Shakespeare  and  Bacon  be  present  at  my  luncheon  simultane- 
ously ? 


SHYLOCK  HOMES:  HIS  POSTHUMOUS  MEMOIRS     213 

It  perplexed  me  much,  and,  seeing  no  way  out  of  the  mystery,  I 
dismissed  the  whole  matter  from  my  mind,  and  sat  down  to  await 
developments.  Wednesday  came,  and,  at  the  appointed  hour,  both 
guests  arrived,  walking  in  arm  in  arm,  and  chatting  away  as  amiably 
as  if  there  had  never  been  a  fierce  battle  raging  between  their  followers 
for  the  greatest  literary  honors  the  world  has  to  bestow.  I  was  more 
than  ever  puzzled,  when  I  shook  them  by  the  hand  and  made  diem 
welcome  at  my  table,  but  it  was  none  the  less  clear  that  there  was 
some  mystery  to  which  they  were  both  a  party,  for  Bacon  was  ex- 
cessively nervous  all  through  the  luncheon,  and  Shakespeare  perspired 
as  freely  as  though  he  were  Damocles  sitting  beneath  a  suspended 
sword.  Moreover,  Bacon  was  loath  to  let  Shakespeare  open  his  mouth, 
save  to  take  in  food  and  drink.  He  talked  incessantly,  and,  at  times, 
so  vagariously  that  I  wondered  if  he  were  in  his  right  mind.  Nor  was 
there  about  Shakespeare  any  of  the  bonhomie  that  I  had  heard  was  so 
characteristic  of  the  man,  and,  when  the  luncheon  was  over,  instead 
of  feeling  that  I  had  known  him  all  my  life,  I  really  felt  as  if  1 
him  less  well  than  when  we  had  first  sat  down  at  table.  Still,  there 
they  were,  both  of  them,  and  my  theory  must  fall  in  the  face  of  the 
fact,  unless  —  Ah!  That  unless!  It  saved  the  day  for  Shylock  Homes, 
for  'it  bade  me  pursue  the  same  line  of  inquiry  even  in  the  face  of 

certain  defeat. 

Turning  the  conversation  upon  certain  political  schemers  and  thei 
plans,  I  ventured  die  Shakespearean  quotation : 

"Excellent!  I  smell  a  device!" 

Bacon  was  about  to  respond,  when  Shakespeare  growled  forth: 

"You  don't  smell  advice,  do  you,  Mr.  Homes?  Your  English  is 


so  — 


Bacon  upset  his  coffee  in  Shakespeare's  lap  to  divert  the  bard  and 
set  his  tongue  wagging  on  other  lines,  with  which  subterfuge 
in  most  readily,  but  it  was  too  late.  Evidently  there  was  something 
wrong  with  this  Shakespeare,  who  protested  against  his  own  periods 
and  ventured  the  beginnings  of  an  assault  upon  his  own  language.  I 
did,  indeed,  smell  a  device,  but  for  the  moment  pursued  it  no  further. 

"I  must  lull  them  into  a  sense  of  security,"  I  thought,  "and  maybe 
then  all  will  become  clear." 

How  well  I  did  so  is  evidenced  by  the  fact  that  when  we  parted 
it  was  with  the  distinct  promise  that  Shakespeare  and  I  were  to  spend 


214     SHYLOCK  HOMES:  HIS  POSTHUMOUS  MEMOIRS 

the  following  Sunday  at  Noxmere  with  Bacon.  I  was  glad  indeed  of 
the  invitation,  for  my  suspicions  were  becoming  so  great  that  all  the 
powers  of  Hades  could  not  now  have  diverted  me  from  the  mystery 
I  had  undertaken  to  solve.  Entirely  apart  from  the  interest  I  was 
beginning  to  take  in  it,  it  would  never  do,  even  from  a  professional 
point  of  view,  to  give  up  now  or  let  Bacon  deceive  me,  as  he  appeared 
to  be  trying  to  do,  and,  as  I  looked  back  upon  the  luncheon  and 
recalled  several  seemingly  insignificant  little  details,  I  felt  pretty 
certain  that  there  was  something  very  strange  about  Shakespeare.  He 
preferred  absinthe  to  ale,  for  one  thing;  he  questioned  the  use  of 
terms  in  one  of  his  own  phrases;  had  no  good  stories  to  tell  and  was 
very  far  from  being  the  roistering  companion  his  friends  had  cracked 
him  up  to  be.  A  day  in  the  country  might  reveal  the  true  inwardness 
of  certain  things  that  just  now  baffled  me,  and  I  accepted  with  alacrity. 
Not  so  Shakespeare,  who  betrayed  considerable  reluctance  to  be  one 
of  the  party,  but  partly  by  persuasion  and  partly,  I  could  see,  by  in- 
timidation he  was  won  over. 

The  next  day  I  called  upon  my  friend  Henry  Jekyll,  with  whom  I 
had  been  on  intimate  relations  in  London  the  year  he  and  I  sprang 
almost  simultaneously  into  our  enviable  notoriety.  I  told  him  frankly 
the  position  in  which  I  was  placed,  and  what  I  suspected,  and  adjured 
him,  if  he  were  my  friend,  to  give  me  the  prescription  by  which  he 
transformed  himself  into  Hyde,  and  then  from  Hyde  back  to  Jekyll 
again.  At  first  he  refused  me  point  blank. 

"You'll  use  it  on  yourself,  Homes,  and  if  you  do  it  will  ruin  you," 

he  said. 
"I  swear  to  you  that  I  will  not,  Jekyll,"  I  replied.  "You  know  the 

value  of  my  word." 

"But  —  "  he  persisted. 

"Do  you  want  me  to  be  made  the  laughing  stock  of  all  Hades?" 
I  cried.  "As  I  surely  shall  be  if  I  fail  in  this  enterprise." 

"I  know,  Homes,"  said  he.  "But  - 

"It  is  the  only  favor  I  have  ever  asked  of  you,  Henry  Jekyll,"  said 
I.  "And  I  beg  to  recall  to  your  mind  that  I  knew  the  truth  of  your 
double  existence  in  London  when  Hyde  murdered  Sir  Danvers 
Carew.  Did  I  betray  you  when  your  betrayal  would  have  made  my 
fortune?" 


SHYLOCK  HOMES:  HIS  POSTHUMOUS  MEMOIRS     215 

"It  is  yours,"  he  cried,  as,  seizing  a  prescription  blank  from  the 
table,  he  wrote  down  the  required  formula. 

I  had  the  powder  in  my  pocket  the  following  Sunday,  upon  my 
arrival  at  Noxmere.  The  day  passed  pleasantly,  and  Shakespeare 
proved  a  charming  companion  —  rather  too  much  given  to  reciting 
lines  from  his  own  works,  perhaps,  but  full  of  geniality  and  quite 
like  the  man  I  had  expected  to  find  him.  Indeed,  had  his  manner  at 
the  luncheon  been  the  same  as  that  which  he  displayed  at  Noxmere 
I  should  have  pursued  the  Jekyll-and-Hyde  theory  no  further.  But 
now  I  refused  to  cast  suspicion  aside  without  the  supremest  test  of 
trying  Jekyll's  powders  on  Bacon.  All  day  long,  I  avoided  allusion  to 
my  professional  work,  and  by  nightfall  both  Bacon  and  Shakespeare 
were  so  thoroughly  convinced  that  they  had  thrown  me  off  the  scent 
that  they  became  frankly  and  facetiously  jocular.  I  bided  my  time 
until  the  nightcap  hour  came,  and  then,  in  order  to  put  my  plan  into 
operation,  suggested  that  I  be  allowed  to  mix  a  cocktail  for  the  com- 
pany. 

"I  learned  the  art  from  an  American  friend,"  I  said,  "and  I  assure 
you,  my  Lord,  and  you,  too,  William  Shakespeare,  when  you  have 
swallowed  your  first  Martini  you  will  say  that  you've  never  had  a 
drink  before." 

"Wassail  to  the  Martini!"  cried  Bacon,  joyously. 

"All  hail  the  queue  de  coq!"  roared  Shakespeare,  jovially  — a 
remark  which  caused  Bacon  to  frown  and  Shakespeare  to  turn  pale. 
What  had  the  "Bard  of  Avon"  to  do,  indeed,  with  the  French 
language  ?  I  said  nothing  whatever,  proceeding  at  once  to  the  making 
of  the  mixture,  and  into  Bacon's  glass  I  slipped  Jekyll's  powder.  We 
all  drank,  and  then  — 

Do  you  remember  Dr.  Lanyon's  narrative  in  Stevenson's  stirring 
account  of  Jekyll's  fall,  in  which  he  describes  what  happened  to  Mr. 
Hyde  when  he  had  swallowed  the  potion  ?  His  words,  as  I  remember 
them,  ran  as  follows : 

"He  put  the  glass  to  his  lips  and  drank  at  one  gulp.  A  cry  followed. 
He  reeled,  staggered,  clutched  at  the  table  and  held  on,  staring  with 
injected  eyes,  gasping  with  open  mouth,  and  as  I  looked  there  came, 
I  thought,  a  change  —  he  seemed  to  swell,  his  face  became  suddenly 
black  and  the  features  seemed  to  melt  and  alter,  and  the  next  moment 


2i6     SHYLOCK  HOMES:  HIS  POSTHUMOUS  MEMOIRS 

I  had  sprung  to  my  feet  and  leaped  back  against  the  wall,  my  arm 
raised  to  shield  me  from  that  prodigy,  my  mind  submerged  in  terror. 

'"Oh,  God!'  I  screamed,  and  'Oh,  God!'  again  and  again,  for 
there,  before  my  eyes,  pale  and  shaken  and  half  fainting,  and  groping 
before  him  with  his  hands,  like  a  man  restored  from  death,  there  stood 
Henry  Jekyll!'" 

The  same  scene  was  enacted  in  the  study  of  Francis  Bacon.  He, 
too,  like  Hyde,  drained  the  contents  of  the  glass  at  a  gulp.  He,  too, 
reeled,  staggered  and  clutched  and  held  onto  the  table,  staring  with 
injected  eyes  and  gasping  with  open  mouth.  And  over  him,  also,  came 
a  change  in  which  his  face  turned  suddenly  black  and  the  features 
melted  and  altered. 

Francis  Bacon,  Lord  Verulam,  faded  in  a  mist  of  horror  and  out 
of  it  emerged,  pale,  palsied  and  shattered  for  the  moment,  no  less  a 
person  than  William  Shakespeare  himself,  while  seated  opposite, 
gazing  in  horrified  wonderment,  sat  another  Shakespeare,  who  gasped 
and  choked  and  gripped  and  groaned,  staring  the  real  in  the  eye  and 
powerless  for  the  instant  to  move.  I  stood  back  in  the  shadow  of  the 
mantel  watching  both,  when  suddenly  the  spurious  Shakespeare,  with 
a  shriek,  sprang  madly  to  his  feet  and  plunged  toward  the  door.  By 
a  quick  move  I  intercepted  him. 
"We  have  solved  the  old  mystery  — now  for  the  new!"  I  cried. 

"Who  are  you?" 

"I  beg  of  you,"  he  began,  whereupon  I  seized  him  by  the  goatee, 
which,  being  false,  came  off  in  my  hand  and  with  it  the  rest  of  the 
disguise,  wig,  mustache  and  all. 

It  was  M.  Lecoq. 

"I  _I  paid  him  for  this,  Mr.  Homes!"  gasped  Bacon,  or,  rather, 
Shakespeare,  as  he  now  was.  "Do  not  blame  M.  Lecoq  for  this  - 

"He  may  go,"  said  I.  "I  have  only  to  deal  with  you." 

And  Lecoq  shrank  from  the  room  and  disappeared  into  the  night. 

"Well,  Lord  Bacon,"  said  I,  addressing  the  poor  creature  before  me. 
"I  have  discovered  the  secret  of  the  centuries.  It  is  you  who  are  the 
author  of  Shakespeare's  plays." 

"In  a  sense  —  as  Shakespeare  I  —  I  wrote  them,  yes." 

"So  that  I  may  report  - 

"I  do  not  know!"  he  moaned.  "I  am  broken,  Mr.  Homes,  absolutely 
broken,  in  spirit.  To  have  this  known  - 


SHYLOCK  HOMES:  HIS  POSTHUMOUS  MEMOIRS     217 

"It  never  will  be,  Lord  Bacon,"  said  I,  "at  least  not  here.  I  shall 
publish  my  report  only  in  the  upper  world,  and  the  books  of  that 
sphere  have  no  circulation  in  this." 

"And  you  will  conclude?" 

"There  is  but  one  conclusion,  Lord  Bacon.  William  Shakespeare 
wrote  his  own  works.  You  backed  him.  I  shall  so  report  to  Sorosis 
and  the  ladies  may  take  it  as  final  or  leave  it." 

And  so  I  left  him.  True  to  my  promise,  this  story  has  not  been 
circulated  in  Hades,  and  I  rejoice  to  say  that,  based  upon  my  report 
to  the  committee,  the  Society  of  Sorosis  of  Cimmeria  has  voted  by 
369  to  i  that  Shakespeare  wrote  Shakespeare. 

The  negative  vote  was  cast  by  Anne  Hathaway,  who  observed  that 
she  did  not  wish  to  incriminate  her  husband  until  she  had  seen  the 
stuff. 


Detective:  THE  GREAT  DETECTIVE 


MADDENED   BY   MYSTERY 
or,  The  Defective  Detective 

by  STEPHEN  LEACOCK 


"Maddened  by  Mystery"  from  Stephen  LeacocT(s  NONSENSE 
NOVELS  (London,  Lane,  1911;  New  Yorf^,  Lane,  1911),  is  Can- 
ada's contribution  to  our  Parade  of  Parodies.  The  author,  a 
world-famous  wit  and  political  economist,  goes  all  out  in  his 
satire  of  the  Sacred  Writings  and  the  Great  Man. 

"Maddened  by  Mystery'  (a  maddening  title)  was  the  only 
parody  chosen  by  E.  C.  Bentley,  creator  of  Philip  Trent,  for  his 
anthology,  THE  SECOND  CENTURY  OF  DETECTIVE  STORIES  (London, 
Hutchinson,  1938).  It  is  therefore  safe  to  deduce  that  this 
hilarious  burlesque  is  E.  C.  Bentley' s  favorite  parody  of  Holmes 
—  a  recommendation  not  to  be  ignored,  or  cast  aside  lightly. 

Don't  be  self-conscious:  chuckle  to  your  heart's  content! 


T 

j-t 


_      GREAT  DETECTIVE  sat  in  his  office.  He  wore  a  long  green  gown 
and  half  a  dozen  secret  badges  pinned  to  the  outside  of  it. 
Three  or  four  pairs  of  false  whiskers  hung  on  a  whisker  stand 

beside  him. 

Goggles,  blue  spectacles,  and  motor  glasses  lay  within  easy  reach. 

He  could  completely  disguise  himself  at  a  second's  notice. 

Half  a  bucket  of  cocaine  and  a  dipper  stood  on  a  chair  at  his  elbow. 

His  face  was  absolutely  impenetrable. 

A  pile  of  cryptograms  lay  on  the  desk.  The  Great  Detective  hastily 
tore  them  open  one  after  the  other,  solved  them,  and  threw  them 
down  the  cryptogram  chute  at  his  side. 

There  was  a  rap  at  the  door. 

The  Great  Detective  hurriedly  wrapped  himself  in  a  pink  domino, 
adjusted  a  pair  of  false  black  whiskers  and  cried: 


MADDENED    BY    MYSTERY 

"Come  in." 


His  secretary  entered.  "Ha,"  said  the  detective,  "it  is  you!" 

He  laid  aside  his  disguise. 

"Sir,"  said  the  young  man  in  intense  excitement,  "a  mystery  has 
been  committed!" 

"Ha!"  said  the  Great  Detective,  his  eye  kindling,  "is  it  such  as  to 
completely  baffle  the  police  of  the  entire  continent?" 

"They  are  so  completely  baffled  with  it,"  said  the  secretary,  "that 
they  are  lying  collapsed  in  heaps;  many  of  them  have  committed 
suicide." 

"So,"  said  the  detective,  "and  is  the  mystery  one  that  is  absolutely 
unparalleled  in  the  whole  recorded  annals  of  the  London  police?" 

"It  is." 

"And  I  suppose,"  said  the  detective,  "that  it  involves  names  which 
you  would  scarcely  dare  to  breathe,  at  least  without  first  using  some 
kind  of  atomizer  or  throat  gargle." 

"Exactly." 

"And  it  is  connected,  I  presume,  with  the  highest  diplomatic  con- 
sequences, so  that  if  we  fail  to  solve  it  England  will  be  at  war  with 
the  whole  world  in  sixteen  minutes?" 

His  secretary,  still  quivering  with  excitement,  again  answered  yes. 

"And  finally,"  said  the  Great  Detective,  "I  presume  that  it  was 
committed  in  broad  daylight,  in  some  such  place  as  the  entrance  of 
the  Bank  of  England,  or  in  the  cloakroom  of  the  House  of  Commons, 
and  under  the  very  eyes  of  the  police?" 

"Those,"  said  the  secretary,  "are  the  very  conditions  of  the  mystery." 

"Good,"  said  the  Great  Detective.  "Now  wrap  yourself  in  this 
disguise,  put  on  these  brown  whiskers  and  tell  me  what  it  is." 

The  secretary  wrapped  himself  in  a  blue  domino  with  lace  inser- 
tions, then,  bending  over,  he  whispered  in  the  ear  of  the  Great  De- 
tective: 

"The  Prince  of  Wiirttemberg  has  been  kidnaped." 

The  Great  Detective  bounded  from  his  chair  as  if  he  had  been 
kicked  from  below. 

A  prince  stolen!  Evidently  a  Bourbon!  The  scion  of  one  of  the 
oldest  families  in  Europe  kidnaped.  Here  was  a  mystery  indeed 
worthy  of  his  analytical  brain. 

His  mind  began  to  move  like  lightning. 


220  MADDENED    BY    MYSTERY 

"Stop!"  he  said.  "How  do  you  know  this?" 

The  secretary  handed  him  a  telegram.  It  was  from  the  Prefect  of 
Police  of  Paris.  It  read : 

THE  PRINCE  OF  WURTTEMBERG  STOLEN.  PROBABLY  FORWARDED  TO  LONDON. 
MUST  HAVE  HIM  HERE  FOR  THE  OPENING  DAY  OF  EXHIBITION.  £,1000  RE- 
WARD. 

So!  The  Prince  had  been  kidnaped  out  of  Paris  at  the  very  time 
when  his  appearance  at  the  International  Exposition  would  have  been 
a  political  event  of  the  first  magnitude. 

With  the  Great  Detective  to  think  was  to  act,  and  to  act  was  to 
think.  Frequently  he  could  do  both  together. 

"Wire  to  Paris  for  a  description  of  the  Prince." 

The  secretary  bowed  and  left. 

At  the  same  moment  there  was  a  slight  scratching  at  the  door. 

A  visitor  entered.  He  crawled  stealthily  on  his  hands  and  knees. 
A  hearthrug  thrown  over  his  head  and  shoulders  disguised  his 

identity. 

He  crawled  to  the  middle  of  the  room. 

Then  he  rose. 

Great  Heaven! 

It  was  the  Prime  Minister  of  England. 

"You!"  said  the  detective. 

"Me,"  said  the  Prime  Minister. 

"You  have  come  in  regard  to  the  kidnaping  of  the  Prince  o£  Wiirt- 
temberg?" 

The  Prime  Minister  started. 

"How  do  you  know?"  he  said. 

The  Great  Detective  smiled  his  inscrutable  smile. 

"Yes,"  said  the  Prime  Minister.  "I  will  use  no  concealment.  I  am 
interested,  deeply  interested.  Find  the  Prince  of  Wiirttemberg,  get 
him  safe  back  to  Paris  and  I  will  add  £500  to  the  reward  already 
offered.  But  listen,"  he  said  impressively  as  he  left  the  room,  "see 
to  it  that  no  attempt  is  made  to  alter  the  marking  of  the  Prince,  or 

to  clip  his  tail." 

So!  To  clip  the  Prince's  tail!  The  brain  of  the  Great  Detective 
reeled.  So!  A  gang  of  miscreants  had  conspired  to—  But  no!  The 
thing  was  not  possible. 


MADDENED    BY    MYSTERY  221 

There  was  another  rap  at  the  door. 

A  second  visitor  was  seen.  He  wormed  his  way  in,  lying  almost 
prone  upon  his  stomach,  and  wriggling  across  the  floor.  He  was 
enveloped  in  a  long  purple  cloak.  He  stood  up  and  peeped  over  the 
top  of  it. 

Great  Heaven! 

It  was  the  Archbishop  of  Canterbury! 

"Your  Grace!"  exclaimed  the  detective  in  amazement.  "Pray  do 
not  stand,  I  beg  you.  Sit  down,  lie  down,  anything  rather  than 
stand." 

The  Archbishop  took  off  his  miter  and  laid  it  wearily  on  the 
whisker  stand. 

"You  are  here  in  regard  to  the  Prince  of  Wiirttemberg." 

The  Archbishop  started  and  crossed  himself.  Was  the  man  a  ma- 
gician ? 

"Yes,"  he  said,  "much  depends  on  getting  him  back.  But  I  have 
only  come  to  say  this :  my  sister  is  desirous  of  seeing  you.  She  is  com- 
ing here.  She  has  been  extremely  indiscreet  and  her  fortune  hangs 
upon  the  Prince.  Get  him  back  to  Paris  or  I  fear  she  will  be  ruined." 

The  Archbishop  regained  his  miter,  uncrossed  himself,  wrapped 
his  cloak  about  him,  and  crawled  stealthily  out  on  his  hands  and 
knees,  purring  like  a  cat. 

The  face  of  the  Great  Detective  showed  the  most  profound  sym- 
pathy. It  ran  up  and  down  in  furrows.  "So,"  he  muttered,  "the  sister 
of  the  Archbishop,  the  Countess  of  Dashleigh!"  Accustomed  as  he 
was  to  the  life  of  the  aristocracy,  even  the  Great  Detective  felt  that 
here  was  intrigue  of  more  than  customary  complexity. 

There  was  a  loud  rapping  at  the  door. 

There  entered  the  Countess  of  Dashleigh.  She  was  all  in  furs. 

She  was  the  most  beautiful  woman  in  England.  She  strode  im- 
periously into  the  room.  She  seized  a  chair  imperiously  and  seated 
herself  on  it,  imperial  side  up. 

She  took  of!  her  tiara  of  diamonds  and  put  it  on  the  tiara  holder 
beside  her  and  uncoiled  her  boa  of  pearls  and  put  it  on  the  pearl 
stand. 

"You  have  come,"  said  the  Great  Detective,  "about  the  Prince  of 
Wiirttemberg." 

"Wretched  little  pup!"  said  the  Countess  of  Dashleigh  in  disgust. 


222  MADDENED    BY    MYSTERY 

So!  A  further  complication!  Far  from  being  in  love  with  the  Prince, 
the  Countess  denounced  the  young  Bourbon  as  a  pup! 
"You  are  interested  in  him,  I  believe." 
"Interested!"  said  the  Countess.  "I  should  rather  say  so.  Why,  I 

bred  him!" 
"You  which?"  gasped  the  Great  Detective,  his  usually  impassive 

features  suffused  with  a  carmine  blush. 

"I  bred  him,"  said  the  Countess,  "and  I've  got  £10,000  upon  his 
chances,  so  no  wonder  I  want  him  back  in  Paris.  Only  listen,"  she 
said,  "if  they've  got  hold  of  the  Prince  and  cut  his  tail  or  spoiled  the 
markings  of  his  stomach  it  would  be  far  better  to  have  him  quietly 
put  out  of  the  way  here." 

The  Great  Detective  reeled  and  leaned  up  against  the  side  of  the 
room.  So!  The  cold-blooded  admission  of  the  beautiful  woman  for 
the  moment  took  away  his  breath!  Herself  the  mother  of  the  young 
Bourbon,  misallied  with  one  of  the  greatest  families  of  Europe,  stak- 
ing her  fortune  on  a  Royalist  plot,  and  yet  with  so  instinctive  a 
knowledge  of  European  politics  as  to  know  that  any  removal  of  the 
hereditary  birthmarks  of  the  Prince  would  forfeit  for  him  the  sym- 
pathy of  the  French  populace. 

The  Countess  resumed  her  tiara. 

She  left. 

The  secretary  re-entered. 

"I  have  three  telegrams  from  Paris,"  he  said.  "They  are  completely 

baffling." 

He  handed  over  the  first  telegram. 
It  read: 

THE   PRINCE  OF   WURTTEMBERG   HAS   A   LONG,   WET  SNOUT,   BROAD  EARS, 
VERY   LONG   BODY,   AND   SHORT   HIND   LEGS. 

The  Great  Detective  looked  puzzled. 
He  read  the  second  telegram. 

THE     PRINCE    OF    WURTTEMBERG    IS    EASILY    RECOGNIZED    BY    HIS    DEEP 
BARK. 

And  then  the  third. 

THE    PRINCE    OF    WURTTEMBERG    CAN    BE    RECOGNIZED    BY    THE    PATCH 
OF    WHITE    HAIR    ACROSS    THE    CENTER    OF    HIS    BACK. 


MADDENED    BY    MYSTERY  223 

The  two  men  looked  at  one  another.  The  mystery  was  maddening, 
impenetrable. 

The  Great  Detective  spoke. 

"Give  me  my  domino,"  he  said.  "These  clues  must  be  followed  up." 
Then  pausing,  while  his  quick  brain  analyzed  and  summed  up  the 
evidence  before  him  — "A  young  man,"  he  muttered,  "evidently 
young  since  described  as  a  'pup,'  with  a  long,  wet  snout  (ha!  addicted 
obviously  to  drinking),  a  streak  of  white  hair  across  his  back  (a  first 
sign  of  the  results  of  his  abandoned  life)  —  yes,  yes,"  he  continued, 
"with  this  clue  I  shall  find  him  easily." 
The  Great  Detective  rose. 

He  wrapped  himself  in  a  long  black  cloak  with  white  whiskers 
and  blue  spectacles  attached. 

Completely  disguised,  he  issued  forth. 
He  began  the  search. 

For  four  days  he  visited  every  corner  of  London. 
He  entered  every  saloon  in  the  city.  In  each  of  them  he  drank  a 
glass  of  rum.  In  some  of  them  he  assumed  the  disguise  of  a  sailor. 
In  others  he  entered  as  a  soldier.  Into  others  he  penetrated  as  a  clergy- 
man. His  disguise  was  perfect.  Nobody  paid  any  attention  to  him 
as  long  as  he  had  the  price  of  a  drink. 
The  search  proved  fruitless. 

Two  young  men  were  arrested  under  suspicion  of  being  the  Prince, 
only  to  be  released. 

The  identification  was  incomplete  in  each  case. 
One  had  a  long  wet  snout  but  no  hair  on  his  back. 
The  other  had  hair  on  his  back  but  couldn't  bark. 
Neither  of  them  was  the  young  Bourbon. 
The  Great  Detective  continued  his  search. 
He  stopped  at  nothing. 

Secretly,  after  nightfall,  he  visited  the  home  of  the  Prime  Minister. 
He  examined  it  from  top  to  bottom.  He  measured  all  the  doors  and 
windows.  He  took  up  the  flooring.  He  inspected  the  plumbing.  He 
examined  the  furniture.  He  found  nothing. 

With  equal  secrecy  he  penetrated  into  the  palace  of  the- Archbishop. 
He  examined  it  from  top  to  bottom.  Disguised  as  a  choirboy  he  took 
part  in  the  offices  of  the  Church.  He  found  nothing. 
Still  undismayed,  the  Great  Detective  made  his  way  into  the  home 


224  MADDENED    BY    MYSTERY 

of  the  Countess  of  Dashleigh.  Disguised  as  a  housemaid,  he  entered 
the  service  of  the  Countess. 

Then  at  last  the  clue  came  which  gave  him  a  solution  of  the  mys- 
tery. 

On  the  wall  of  the  Countess's  boudoir  was.  a  large  framed  en- 
graving. 

It  was  a  portrait. 

Under  it  was  a  printed  legend : 

THE   PRINCE   OF   WURTTEMBERG 

The  portrait  was  that  of  a  dachshund. 

The  long  body,  the  broad  ears,  the  undipped  tail,  the  short  hind 
legs  —  all  were  there. 

In  the  fraction  of  a  second  the  lightning  mind  of  the  Great  De- 
tective had  penetrated  the  whole  mystery. 

THE  PRINCE  WAS  A  DOG  !  !  !  ! 

Hastily  throwing  a  domino  over  his  housemaid's  dress,  he  rushed 
to  the  street.  He  summoned  a  passing  hansom,  and  in  a  few  minutes 
was  at  his  house. 

"I  have  it,"  he  gasped  to  his  secretary,  "the  mystery  is  solved.  I 
have  pieced  it  together.  By  sheer  analysis  I  have  reasoned  it  out. 
Listen  — hind  legs,  hair  on  back,  wet  snout,  pup  — eh,  what?  Does 
that  suggest  nothing  to  you?" 

"Nothing,"  said  the  secretary;  "it  seems  perfectly  hopeless." 

The  Great  Detective,  now  recovered  from  his  excitement,  smiled 

faintly. 

"It  means  simply  this,  my  dear  fellow.  The  Prince  of  Wiirttemberg 
is  a  dog,  a  prize  dachshund.  The  Countess  of  Dashleigh  bred  him, 
and  he  is  worth  some  ,£25,000  in  addition  to  the  prize  of  ,£10,000 
offered  at  the  Paris  dog  show.  Can  you  wonder  that  — ' 

At  that  moment  the  Great  Detective  was  interrupted  by  the  scream 
of  a  woman. 

"Great  Heaven!" 

The  Countess  of  Dashleigh  dashed  into  the  room. 

Her  face  was  wild. 

Her  tiara  was  in  disorder. 

Her  pearls  were  dripping  all  over  the  place. 

She  wrung  her  hands  and  moaned. 


MADDENED    BY    MYSTERY  225 

"They  have  cut  his  tail,"  she  gasped,  "and  taken  all  the  hair  off 
his  back.  What  can  I  do?  I  am  undone!" 

"Madame,"  said  the  Great  Detective,  calm  as  bronze,  "do  yourself 
up.  I  can  save  you  yet." 

"You!" 

"Me!" 

"How?" 

"Listen.  This  is  how.  The  Prince  was  to  have  been  shown  at  Paris." 

The  Countess  nodded. 

"Your  fortune  was  staked  on  him?" 

The  Countess  nodded  again. 

"The  dog  was  stolen,  carried  to  London,  his  tail  cut  and  his  marks 
disfigured." 

Amazed  at  the  quiet  penetration  of  the  Great  Detective,  the  Count- 
ess kept  on  nodding  and  nodding. 

"And  you  are  ruined?" 

"I  am,"  she  gasped,  and  sank  down  on  the  floor  in  a  heap  of  pearls. 

"Madame,"  said  the  Great  Detective,  "all  is  not  lost." 

He  straightened  himself  up  to  his  full  height.  A  look  of  inflinchable 
unflexibility  flickered  over  his  features. 

The  honor  of  England,  the  fortune  of  the  most  beautiful  woman 
in  England  were  at  stake. 

"I  will  do  it,"  he  murmured. 

"Rise,  dear  lady,"  he  continued.  "Fear  nothing.  I  WILL  IMPER- 
SONATE THE  DOG  !  !  !" 

That  night  the  Great  Detective  might  have  been  seen  on  the  deck 
of  the  Calais  packet-boat  with  his  secretary.  He  was  on  his  hands 
and  knees  in  a  long  black  cloak,  and  his  secretary  had  him  on  a 
short  chain. 

He  barked  at  the  waves  exultingly  and  licked  the  secretary's  hand. 

"What  a  beautiful  dog,"  said  the  passengers. 

The  disguise  was  absolutely  complete. 

The  Great  Detective  had  been  coated  over  with  mucilage  to  which 
dog  hairs  had  been  applied.  The  markings  on  his  back  were  perfect. 
His  tail,  adjusted  with  an  automatic  coupler,  moved  up  and  down 
responsive  to  every  thought.  His  deep  eyes  were  full  of  intelligence. 
Next  day  he  was  exhibited  in  the  dachshund  class  at  the  Inter- 
national show. 


226  MADDENED    BY    MYSTERY 

He  won  all  hearts. 

"Quel  beau  chien!"  cried  the  French  people. 

"Ach!  Was  ein  Dog!"  cried  the  Spanish. 

The  Great  Detective  took  the  first  prize! 

The  fortune  of  the  Countess  was  saved. 

Unfortunately  as  the  Great  Detective  had  neglected  to  pay  the  dog 
tax,  he  was  caught  and  destroyed  by  the  dogcatchers.  But  that  is, 
of  course,  quite  outside  of  the  present  narrative,  and  is  only  men- 
tioned as  an  odd  fact  in  conclusion. 


Detective:  the  great  detective 


AN   IRREDUCIBLE   DETECTIVE 

STORY 

by  STEPHEN  LEACOCK 


In  the  preceding  parody  Mr.  Leacocf^  calls  his  protagonist  "the 
Great  Detective"  —  with  two  capital  letters.  In  "An  Irreducible 
Detective  Story"nhe  author  calls  his  chief  character  "the  great 
detective"  —  with  no  capitals. 

This  spelling  clue  suggests  that  Mr.  LeacocJ^  did  not  intend 
his  second  parody  to  be  a  sequel  to  the  first  —  mores  the  pity. 
But  your  Editors  could  not  bring  themselves  to  deprive  you  of 
a  "hair-raising"  burlesque  merely  because  of  the  absence  of  two 
capital  letters. 

"An  Irreducible  Detective  Story"  from  FURTHER  FOOLISHNESS 
(New  Yorf(,  Lane,  /p/6;  London,  Lane,  191 7),  was  written  pri- 
marily to  lampoon  the  so-called  short-short  story.  This  is  not 
a  deduction  —  it  is  clearly  revealed  by  the  author's  own  preface 
which  reads:  "Among  the  latest  follies  in  fiction  is  the  perpetual 
demand  for  stories  shorter  and  shorter  still.  The  only  thing  to 
do  is  to  meet  this  demand  at  the  source  and  chec\  it.  The  story 
below,  if  left  to  soa\  overnight  in  a  barrel  of  rainwater,  will 
swell  to  the  dimensions  of  a  dollar-fifty  novel." 


T 

JLlI 


.HE  MYSTERY  had  now  reached  its  climax.  First,  the  man  had  been 
undoubtedly  murdered.  Second,  it  was  absolutely  certain  that  no  con- 
ceivable person  had  done  it. 

It  was  therefore  time  to  call  in  the  great  detective. 

He  gave  one  searching  glance  at  the  corpse.  In  a  moment  he 
whipped  out  a  microscope. 

"Ha!  Ha!"  he  said,  as  he  picked  a  hair  off  the  lapel  of  the  dead 
man's  coat.  "The  mystery  is  now  solved." 


228  AN    IRREDUCIBLE    DETECTIVE    STORY 

He  held  up  the  hair. 

"Listen,"  he  said,  "we  have  only  to  find  the  man  who  1 
hair  and  the  criminal  is  in  our  hands." 
The  inexorable  chain  of  logic  was  complete. 
The  detective  set  himself  to  the  search. 

For  four  days  and  nights  he  moved,  unobserved,  through  the  stre, 
of  New  York  scanning  closely  every  face  he  passed,  looking  for  a 
man  who  had  lost  a  hair. 

On  the  fifth  day  he  discovered  a  man,  disguised  as  a  tourist,  his 
head  enveloped  in  a  steamer  cap  that  reached  below  his  ears. 
The  man  was  about  to  go  on  board  the  Gloritama. 
The  detective  followed  him  on  board. 

"Arrest  him!"  he  said,  and  then  drawing  himself  to  his  full  height, 
he  brandished  aloft  the  hair. 

"This  is  his,"  said  the  great  detective.  "It  proves  his  guilt. 
"Remove  his  hat,"  said  the  ship's  captain  sternly. 
They  did  so. 

The  man  was  entirely  bald. 

"Ha!"  said  the  great  detective,  without  a  moment  of  hesitation. 
"He  has  committed  not  one  murder  but  about  a  million." 


PART  FOUR: 


BY   DEVOTEES    AND   OTHERS 

"I  think,  sir,  when  Holmes  fell  over  that  cliff, 
he  may  not  have  killed  himself,  but  all  the  same 
he  was  never  quite  the  same  man  afterwards." 

—  A  Cornish  boatman's 
comment  to  Sir  Arthur 
Conan  Doyle 


Detective:  THINLOCK  BONES        Narrator:  WHATSONAME 

THE  ADVENTURE  OF  THE 
TABLE  FOOT 

by  ZERO  (ALLAN  RAMSAY} 


This  sketch  appeared  originally  in  "The  Bohemian'  magazine, 
London,  issue  of  January  1894.  So  far  as  your  Editors  have  been 
able  to  determine,  it  has  never  been  reprinted,  and  since  copies 
of  "The  Bohemian"  are  hard  to  come  by  these  days,  we  are 
happy  to  ma\e  available  this  rare  early  travesty. 

"The  Adventure  of  the  Table  Foot"  illustrates  the  purely 
farcical  approach,  which  is  not  nearly  so  effective  as  shrewdly 
plotted  burlesque. 


I 


CALLED  one  morning  —  a  crisp  cold  wintry  December  day  —  on 
my  friend  Thinlock  Bones,  for  the  purpose  of  keeping  him  company 
at  breakfast,  and,  as  usual  about  this  time  of  the  morning,  I  found 
him  running  over  the  agony  columns  of  the  different  newspapers, 
quietly  smiling  at  the  egotistical  private -detective  advertisements.  He 
looked  up  and  greeted  me  as  1  entered. 

"Ah,  Whatsoname,  how  d'you  do  ?  You  have  not  had  breakfast  yet. 
And  you  must  be  hungry.  I  suppose  that  is  why  you  drove,  and  in  a 
hansom  too.  Yet  you  had  time  to  stay  and  look  at  your  barometer. 
You  look  surprised.  I  can  easily  see  —  any  fool  would  see  it  —  that 
you've  not  breakfasted,  as  your  teeth  and  mouth  are  absolutely  clean, 
not  a  crumb  about.  I  noticed  it  as  you  smiled  on  your  entry.  You 
drove  —  it's  a  muddy  morning  and  your  boots  are  quite  clean.  In  a 
hansom  —  don't  I  know  what  time  you  rise?  How  then  could  you 
get  here  so  quickly  without  doing  it  in  a  hansom?  A  bus  or  four- 
wheeler  couldn't  do  it  in  the  time.  Oh!  The  barometer  business.  Why, 
it's  as  plain  as  a  pikestaff.  It's  a  glorious  morning,  yet  you've  brought 
an  umbrella  thinking  that  it  would  rain.  And  why  should  you  think 


232        THE  ADVENTURE  OF  THE  TABLE  FOOT 

it  would  rain  unless  the  barometer  told  you  so  ?  I  see,  too,  some  laborer 
pushed  up  against  you  as  you  came  along.  The  mud  on  your  shoulder, 

you  know." 

"It  was  a  lamppost  that  did  it,"  I  answered. 

"It  was  a  laborer,"  quietly  said  Bones. 

At  that  moment  a  young  man  was  shown  in.  He  was  as  pale  as 
death  and  trembling  in  every  limb.  Thinlock  Bones  settled  himself 
for  business,  and,  as  was  the  usual  habit  with  him  when  he  was  about 
to  think,  he  put  his  two  long  tapered  hands  to  his  nose. 

"What  can  I  do  for  you,  sir?"  asked  Bones.  "Surely  a  young  swell 
like  you,  with  plenty  of  money,  a  brougham,  living  in  the  fashionable 
part  of  the  West  End,  and  the  son  of  a  Peer,  can't  be  in  trouble." 

"Good  God,  you're  right,  how  do  you  know  it  all?"  cried  the 

youth. 

"I  deduct  it,"  said  Thinlock,  "you  tell  me  it  all  yourself.  But  pro- 
ceed." 

"My  name  is  St.  Timon  —  " 

"Robert  St.  Timon,"  put  in  Bones. 

"Yes,  that  is  so,  but  —  " 

"I  saw  it  in  your  hat,"  said  Bones. 

"I  am  Robert  St.  Timon,  son  of  Lord  St.  Timon,  of  Grosvenor 

Square,  and  am  —  " 

"Private  Secretary  to  him,"  continued  Thinlock.  "I  see  a  letter 
marked  Private  and  Confidential  addressed  to  your  father  sticking 
out  of  your  pocket." 

"Quite  correct,"  went  on  St.  Timon,  "thus  it  was  that  in  my  con- 
fidential capacity  I  heard  one  day  from  my  father  of  an  attachment, 
an  infatuation  that  someone  had  for  him,  an  elderly  - 

"Lady,"  said  Thinlock  Bones,  from  the  depths  of  his  chair,  showing 
how  keenly  he  was  following  the  depths  of  the  plot  as  it  was  un- 
folded to  him  by  his  peculiar  habit  of  holding  his  bloodless  hands  to 

his  nose. 

"Right  again,"  said  the  young  man.  "Mr.  Bones,  you  are  simply 

marvelous.  How  do  you  manage  it?" 

"It  is  very  simple,"  Bones  replied,  "but  I  will  not  stop  to  explain. 
Whatsoname  here  understands  my  little  methods  quite  well  now.  He 
will  tell  you  by-and-by." 


THE  ADVENTURE  OF  THE  TABLE  FOOT        233 

"It  was  an  elderly  and  immensely  wealthy  lady,  then,"  Robert  St. 
Timon  continued,  "named  the  Honorable  Mrs.  Goran  - 

"A  widow,"  Bones  interrupted. 

"Wonderful,"  said  St.  Timon,  "the  Honorable  Mrs.  Goran,  a 
widow.  It  was  she  who  was  simply  head  over  ears  in  love  with  my 
father,  Lord  St.  Timon.  He,  although  a  widower,  cared  little  for 
her  but  — 

"A  lot  for  her  money,"  said  the  quick-witted  detective. 

"How  do  you  divine  these  things?  You  guess  my  innermost 
thoughts,  the  words  before  they  are  out  of  my  mouth.  How  did  you 
know  it?"  St.  Timon  asked. 

"I  know  the  human  race,"  Thinlock  Bones  answered. 

"Well,  if  he  could  manage  he  wanted  to  inherit  her  money  without 
marrying  her.  Would  she  leave  him  her  riches  if  he  did  not  propose, 
was  the  question  ?  How  to  find  out  ?  He  was  a  comparatively  young 
man  and  did  not  unnecessarily  wish  to  tie  himself  to  an  octo- 
genarian, although  a  millionairess.  But  he  mustn't  lose  her  wealth. 
If  when  she  died  he  was  not  her  husband,  would  he  get  the  money  ? 
If  the  worst  came  to  the  worst  he  must  marry  her  sooner  than  let 
the  gold  slip  out  of  his  grasp.  But  he  must  not  espouse  the  old  lady 
needlessly.  How  was  he  to  find  out?  A  project  struck  him,  and  the 
means  offered  itself.  We  were  both  asked  to  a  dinner  party  at  the 
Countess  Plein  de  Beer's  where  we  knew  the  Honorable  Mrs.  Goran 
would  be  present,  and- 

"You  both  accepted,"  interrupted  Bones.  "Oh,"  he  went  on  before 
the  other  could  ask  the  reasons  of  his  swift  and  accurate  deductions, 
"oh,  it's  very  simple.  I  saw  in  'The  Daily  Telegraph's  London  Day 

by  Day.' " 

"Yes,  we  accepted,"  continued  St.  Timon,  "and  this  was  our  plan 
of  campaign:  I  was  to  take  the  old  doting  lady  down  to  dinner  and 
to  insinuate  myself  into  her  confidence  —  aided  by  good  wine,  of 
which  she  was  a  devoted  admirer  —  in  a  subtle  fashion  and  thus  to 
extract  the  secret  out  of  her.  I  was  to  find  out  —  by  the  time  she  had 
arrived  at  the  Countess's  old  port  —  whether  my  father  was  her  heir 
or  not.  Whether  she  had  left  him  her  money  without  being  his  wife. 
Time  was  short,  and  if  she  had  not  my  father  was  to  propose  that 
very  night  after  dinner.  The  signal  agreed  on  between  my  father  and 


234 


THE  ADVENTURE  OF  THE  TABLE  FOOT 


me  was  that  if  he  was  her  heir  without  being  her  husband  I  was  to 
kick  him  under  the  table  and  he  would  not  propose  —  otherwise 
he  would.  Oh!  Mr.  Bones,"  he  sobbed,  turning  his  piteous  white 
face  to  Thinlock,  "this  is  where  I  want  your  great  intellect  to  help 
me,  to  aid  me  and  explain  this  mystery. 

"The  plan  worked  admirably,"  he  went  on,  "I  gleaned  every  fact 
about  the  disposition  of  her  money  after  her  death  from  her  when  she 
was  in  her  cups  — or  rather  her  wineglasses.  My  father  was  her 
absolute  and  sole  heir,  and  I  thanked  the  heavens  with  all  my  heart 
that  I  was  spared  such  a  stepmother.  I  kicked,  as  arranged,  my  father 
under  the  table,  but  oh!  Mr.  Bones,  immediately  after  dinner  my 
father  went  to  her  and  asked  her  to  be  his  wife  and  she  has  accepted 
him!  What  does  it  all  mean,  what  does  it  all  mean!!" 

"That  you  kicked  the  foot  of  the  table  instead!"  quietly  replied  the 
greatest  detective  of  modern  times  as  he  unraveled  the  intricate  plot 
and  added  another  success  to  his  brilliant  career. 


Detective:  SHERLOCK  HOLMES  Narrator:  WATSON 

THE   SIGN   OF   THE   "400" 
by  R.  K.  MUNKITTRICK 


This  obscure  parody,  though  it  appeared  in  the  American 
humor-magazine,  "Pucl("  issue  of  October  24,  1804,  is  now 
virtually  unknown.  It  was  brought  to  your  Editors  attention 
by  Mr.  Christopher  Morley,  Gasogene-and-Tantahis  of  The 
Ba^er  Street  Irregulars  and  a  charter-enthusiast  in  all  matter 
Sherlocfyan.  Printer's  copy  was  generously  provided  by  Edgar 
W.  Smith,  Hon.  "Buttons'  of  the  same  devotional  organization}- 
"The  Sign  of  the  '400'  "  —  an  exceptionally  felicitous  parody- 
tjfle  —  belongs  to  the  "Punch"  school  of  burlesque.  Like  the 
Pic{loc{  Holes  series  by  R.  C.  Lehmann  and  "The  Adventure 
of  the  Table  Foot"  by  Zero  (Allan  Ramsay},  it  exploits  the 
reductio  ad  absurdum  technique,  leaning  heavily  on  mere  farce 
and  lacking  the  really  clever  plot  jramewor\  which  is  so  es- 
sential to  classic  permanence. 


.OR  THE  nonce,  Holmes  was  slighting  his  cocaine  and  was  joyously 
jabbing  himself  with  morphine  —  his  favorite  70  per  cent  solution 
—  when  a  knock  came  at  the  door;  it  was  our  landlady  with  a  tele- 
gram. Holmes  opened  it  and  read  it  carelessly. 

1  The  Baker  Street  Irregulars  held  their  first  formal  meeting  in  Chris  Cella's  Restau- 
rant in  New  York  City  on  the  evening  of  June  5,  1934.  On  the  same  evening  the  first 
dinner  of  the  Sherlock  Holmes  Society  of  London  was  being  held,  appropriately,  in 
Canute's  Restaurant  in  Baker  Street.  The  American  organization  now  boasts  two 
branches.  The  Boston  Chapter,  founded  in  1940,  is  called  The  Speckled  Band;  its  offi- 
cers are  P.  M.  Stone,  Hon.  Chairman  ("Stoker")  and  James  Keddie,  Jr.,  Hon.  Treasurer 
("Cheetah").  On  the  night  of  January  8th,  1943  a  Chicago  Chapter  was  inaugurated, 
headed  by  the  Doyen  of  Sherlockholmitis,  Mr.  Vincent  Starrett.  The  following  tele- 
gram, sent  to  The  Baker  Street  Irregulars  convening  simultaneously  at  the  Murray 
Hill  Hotel  in  New  York  City,  announced  the  formation  of  the  new  Chicago  Chapter: 

THREE  GARRIDEBS  AND  A  NOBLE  BACHELOR  MAKE  DUTIFUL  IF  UNSTEADY  BOW  TO  UNSTEADY 
BUT  DUTIFUL  PARENT  IRREGULARS.  DIVISION  OF  OPINION  WHETHER  WE  ARE  RED  CIRCLE, 
RED-HEADED  LEAGUE,  DANCING  MEN,  OR  WISTERIA  LODGE,  BUT  GAME'S  AFOOT. 


236  THE    SIGN    OF    THE       400 

"H'm!"  he  said.  "What  do  you  think  of  this,  Watson?" 

I  picked  it  up.  "COME  AT  ONCE.  WE  NEED  YOU.  SEVENTY-TWO  CHINCH- 
BUGGE  PLACE,  s.  w.,"  I  read. 

"Why,  it's  from  Athelney  Jones,"  I  remarked. 

"Just  so,"  said  Holmes;  "call  a  cab." 

We  were  soon  at  the  address  given,  72  Chinchbugge  Place  being 
the  town  house  of  the  Dowager  Countess  of  Coldslaw.  It  was  an  old- 
fashioned  mansion,  somewhat  weather-beaten.  The  old  hat  stuffed 
in  the  broken  pane  in  the  drawing  room  gave  the  place  an  air  of 
unstudied  artistic  negligence,  which  we  both  remarked  at  the  time. 

Athelney  Jones  met  us  at  the  door.  He  wore  a  troubled  expression. 
"Here's  a  pretty  go,  gentlemen!"  was  his  greeting.  "A  forcible  entrance 
has  been  made  to  Lady  Coldslaw's  boudoir,  and  the  famous  Cold- 
slaw diamonds  are  stolen." 

Without  a  word  Holmes  drew  out  his  pocket  lens  and  examined  the 
atmosphere.  "The  whofe  thing  wears  an  air  of  mystery,"  he  said, 

quietly. 

We  then  entered  the  house.  Lady  Coldslaw  was  completely  pros- 
trated and  could  not  be  seen.  We  went  at  once  to  the  scene  of  the 
robbery.  There  was  no  sign  of  anything  unusual  in  the  boudoir, 
except  that  the  windows  and  furniture  had  been  smashed  and  the 
pictures  had  been  removed  from  the  walls.  An  attempt  had  been 
made  by  the  thief  to  steal  the  wallpaper,  also.  However,  he  had  not 
succeeded.  It  had  rained  the  night  before  and  muddy  footprints  led 
up  to  the  escritoire  from  which  the  jewels  had  been  taken.  A  heavy 
smell  of  stale  cigar  smoke  hung  over  the  room.  Aside  from  these 
hardly  noticeable  details,  the  despoiler  had  left  no  trace  of  his 
presence. 

In  an  instant  Sherlock  Holmes  was  down  on  his  knees  examining 
the  footprints  with  a  stethoscope.  "H'm!"  he  said;  "so  you  can  make 
nothing  out  of  this,  Jones?" 

"No,  sir,"  answered  the  detective;  "but  I  hope  to;  there's  a  big 

reward." 

"It's  all  very  simple,  my  good  fellow,"  said  Holmes.  "The  robbery 
was  committed  at  three  o'clock  this  morning  by  a  short,  stout,  middle- 
aged,  hen-pecked  man  with  a  cast  in  his  eye.  His  name  is  Smythe, 
and  he  lives  at  239  Toff  Terrace." 


THE    SIGN    OF    THE    "400  237 

Jones  fairly  gasped.  "What!  Major  Smythe,  one  of  the  highest 
thought-of  and  richest  men  in  the  city?"  he  said. 

"The  same." 

In  half  an  hour  we  were  at  Smythe's  bedside.  Despite  his  protesta- 
tions, he  was  pinioned  and  driven  to  prison. 

"For  heaven's  sake,  Holmes,"  said  I,  when  we  returned  to  our 
rooms,  "how  did  you  solve  that  problem  so  quickly?" 

"Oh,  it  was  easy,  dead  easy!"  said  he.  "As  soon  as  we  entered  the 
room,  I  noticed  the  cigar  smoke.  It  was  cigar  smoke  from  a  cigar  that 
had  been  given  a  husband  by  his  wife.  I  could  tell  that,  for  I  have 
made  a  study  of  cigar  smoke.  Any  other  but  a  hen-pecked  man  throws 
such  cigars  away.  Then  I  could  tell  by  the  footprints  that  the  man 
had  had  appendicitis.  Now,  no  one  but  members  of  the  '400'  have 
that.  Who  then  was  hen-pecked  in  the  '400,'  and  had  had  appendicitis 
recently?  Why,  Major  Smythe,  of  course!  He  is  middle-aged,  stout, 
and  has  a  cast  in  his  eye." 

I  could  not  help  but  admire  my  companion's  reasoning,  and  told 
him  so.  "Well,"  he  said,  "it  is  very  simple  if  you  know  how." 

Thus  ended  the  Coldslaw  robbery,  so  far  as  we  were  concerned. 

It  may  be  as  well  to  add,  however,  that  Jones's  arrant  jealousy 
caused  him  to  resort  to  the  lowest  trickery  to  throw  discredit  upon 
the  discovery  of  my  gifted  friend.  He  allowed  Major  Smythe  to  prove 
a  most  conclusive  alibi,  and  then  meanly  arrested  a  notorious  burglar 
as  the  thief,  on  the  flimsiest  proof,  and  convicted  him.  This  burglar 
had  been  caught  while  trying  to  pawn  some  diamonds  that  seemed  to 
be  a  portion  of  the  plunder  taken  from  72  Chinchbugge  Place. 

Of  course,  Jones  got  all  the  credit.  I  showed  the  newspaper  accounts 
to  Holmes.  He  only  laughed,  and  said:  "You  see  how  it  is,  Watson; 
Scotland  Yard,  as  usual,  gets  the  glory."  As  I  perceived  he  was  going 
to  play  "Sweet  Marie"  on  his  violin,  I  reached  for  the  morphine, 
myself. 


Detective:  PURLOCK  HONE  Narrator:  JOBSON 

OUR    MR.   SMITH 
by  OSWALD  CRAWFORD 


Shortly  after  the  turn  of  the  century,  Oswald  Crawjurd  re- 
belled against  the  romantic  school  of  detective  fiction,  dominated 
at  that  time  by  Sherloc\  Holmes  and  his  multitudinous  imi- 
tators. Mr.  Crawjurd  wrote  THE  REVELATIONS  OF  INSPECTOR  MOR- 
GAN (London,  Chapman  &  Hall,  1906),  a  collection  of  four 
realistic  detective  stories  which  attempted  "to  establish  the  de- 
tective police  [of  England}  in  that  position  of  superiority  to 
the  mere  amateur  and  outsider  from  which  he  has  been  ousted 
in  contemporary  fiction." 

Mr.  Crawjurd  went  on  record  to  the  effect  that  "the  profes- 
sional is  a  better  man  than  the  amateur  detective.  ...  To  thin\ 
otherwise  is  a  pestilent  heresy" 

During  the  following  year  THE  REVELATIONS  OF  INSPECTOR 
MORGAN  was  published  in  the  United  States  (New  Yor{,  Dodd, 
Mead,  7907).  For  this  edition  Mr.  Crawjurd  wrote  a  special 
Introduction,  which  is  the  source  of  the  passages  quoted  above. 
As  a  final  and  irrefutable  outburst  "of  indignation  against  the 
injustice  so  long  done  to  the  Professional  Detective"  Mr.  Craw- 
jurd wound  up  his  Introduction  by  taking  a  roundhouse  swing 
at  the  arch  offender,  Sherloc^  Holmes.  This  literary  haymaker 
too{  the  form  of  a  parody  titled  "Our  Mr.  Smith"  in  which 
The  Great  Man  goes  down  in  utter,  ignominious  defeat. 

The  question  remains,  after  reading  "Our  Mr.  Smith":  Just 
what  did  Mr.  Crawjurd  prove? 


A, 


.FTER  a  hard  day's  professional  work  I  was  sitting  in  my  little 
room  in  Baker  Street,  deeply  meditating  on  a  subject  never  very  long 
absent  from  my  thoughts.  Reader,  you  can  guess  what  that  subject 


OUR    MR.   SMITH  239 

is.  I  was  considering  the  marvelous  analytical  faculty  of  my  friend 
Purlock  Hone,  when  the  door  opened  and  Purlock  Hone  himself 
appeared  on  the  threshold.  In  my  accustomed  impulsive  and  ecstatic 
way,  not  unmingled  with  that  humour  which  I  am  proud  to  say 
tempers  the  veneration  I  feel  for  that  colossal  intellect,  I  was  beginning 
with  the  trivial  phrase,  "Talk  of  the  -  -!"  when  my  friend  cut  me 
short,  with  "Sh,"  and  put  his  finger  on  his  lips. 

He  sat  down  by  the  fire  without  a  word,  deposited  his  hat,  gloves 
and  handkerchief  in  the  coal  scuttle  (I  have  before  referred  to  my 
friend's  untidy  habits)  and  reached  to  the  mantelpiece  for  my  favourite 
meerschaum.  He  filled  the  pipe  with  long  cut  Cavendish,  and,  sitting 
with  knotted  brows,  smoked  it  to  the  end  before  he  spoke  a  word. 
Then  he  said: 

"Humph!"  It  was  little  enough  perhaps,  but  from  Purlock  Hone  it 

meant  volumes. 

"Well?"  I  said.  "Go  on." 

He  did.  He  filled  the  pipe  anew,  and,  for  a  second  time,  smoked  it 
to  the  bitter  end. 

"Your  pipe,  Jobson,  wants  cleaning!"  -and  he  gently  threw  it  upon 
the  fire,  from  which  I  rescued  it  before  the  flames  had  done  it  much 
injury.  From  any  one  else  this  action  had  seemed  hasty,  if  not  in- 
considerate; in  this  gifted  and  marvellous  being  it  betokened  a  pro- 
found train  of  abstract  and  analytical  meditation.  I  waited  patiently 
for  some  revelation  of  the  subject  of  his  thoughts. 

I  need  not  remind  the  reader  that  in  the  spring  of  this  year  the 
world  of  international  politics  was  gravely  agitated.  Menacing 
rumours  were  about  everywhere,  the  international  atmosphere  was 
electrical  and  mutterings  of  the  tempest  were  to  be  heard  on  every 
side,  but  no  one  could  divine  where  and  when  the  storm  would  burst 
—  on  whom  the  bolt  would  fall. 

Mysterious  messages  were  daily  passing  between  the  Dowager 
Empress  of  China  and  Kaiser  William;  what  did  they  portend? 
President  Castro  of  Venezuela  was  known  to  be  in  secret  communica- 
tion with  the  Dalai  Lama.  Our  eminent  statesman,  Mr.  Keir  Hardie, 
was  said  to  have  despatched  an  ultimatum  to  the  Emperor  of  Japan 
and  an  identical  document  to  President  Roosevelt.  The  aged  wife  of 
the  Second  Commissionaire  at  the  Foreign  Office  (Irish  by  birth  and 
of  convivial  habits)  had  made  certain  compromising  revelations  of 


240  OUR    MR.   SMITH 

the  policy  of  the  government  in  a  tavern  in  Charles  Street,  West- 
minster, and  the  Cabinet  of  St.  James's  was  already  tottering  to  its 

fall! 

I  eagerly  recapitulated  to  my  friend  these  various  sources  of  dis- 
quietude to  the  nation,  to  Europe  and  the  World,  and  urged  him 
eagerly  to  enlighten  me  as  to  which  of  these  great  world  problems  he 
was  preparing  to  solve.  His  answer  was  characteristic  of  this  remark- 
able man,  characteristic  at  once  of  his  geniality,  his  simplicity,  his 
wonderful  self-control,  his  modesty,  and  at  the  same  time  of  his 
refusal,  even  to  me,  to  commit  himself  to  an  avowal. 

"Any  one  of  them,  or  none  — or  all;  I  cannot  guess,"  said  Pur  lock 

Hone. 

My  friend  could  not  guess!  I  forbore  from  speech,  but  I  smiled 
when  I  reflected  that  I  was  in  the  presence  of  the  man  who  had 
more  than  once  interposed  to  save  a  British  Ministry  from  defeat, 
who  had  maintained  the  balance  of  power  in  Europe  by  discovering 
a  stolen  naval  treaty,  nay,  of  the  man  who  had  restored  the  jewelled 
crown  of  England  when  it  had  been  lost  for  nearly  three  hundred 

years! 

"A  penny  for  your  thoughts,"  said  Purlock  Hone  gaily.  "Or,  come, 
you  shall  hear  them  from  me  for  nothing." 

"I  defy  you  to  know  what  I  was  thinking  of,"  I  said  impulsively, 
but  a  moment  later  that  defiance  seemed  to  me  rash,  as  in  truth  it 
proved  to  be. 

"My  dear  Jobson,"  said  this  greatest  of  clairvoyants,  "if  you  wanted 
me  not  to  guess  your  thoughts  you  should  not  have  smiled  and  looked 
towards  the  portrait  of  the  late  Premier.  That  told  me,  as  clearly  as  if 
you  had  spoken,  that  you  were  recalling  my  little  service  to  the  late 
Unionist  Government.  I  suppose  you  are  unconscious  of  the  fact, 
but  you  distinctly  hitched  the  belt  of  your  trousers  as  you  crossed  the 
room,  with  a  sailor-like  roll  in  your  walk;  what  more  was  needed  to 
tell  me  your  thoughts  were  of  my  modest  success  in  the  matter  of  the 
lost  naval  treaty?" 

"Amazing!  And  the  recovery  of  the  Crown  of  England?" 
"You  have  tell-tale  eyes,  Jobson,  and  you  rolled  them  regally  as  you 
directed  them  to  the  print  of  His  Gracious  Majesty  over  the  mantel- 
piece." 
"Wonderful  man!  Stupendous  perspicacity!"  I  muttered. 


OUR    MR     SMITH  24! 

Purlock  Hone  filled  my  rescued  pipe  for  the  third  time  and  re- 
sumed his  smoking.  As  in  most  other  things,  so  in  his  taste  for 
tobacco  he  resembles  no  other  human  being.  I  happened  to  know  that 
he  had  not  touched  a  pipe,  a  cigar,  or  a  cigarette  for  a  month  before. 

"Smoking,  Jobson,  is  one  of  the  world's  follies.  No  ordinary  man 
needs  tobacco.  It  is  poison!" 

"Yet  you  smoke,  Hone,  even  to  excess  at  times,"  I  said. 

"I  said  no  ordinary  man,  Jobson,"  retorted  my  friend. 

I  quailed  under  the  justice  of  the  reproof.  Any  other  man  would 
have  pressed  his  victory.  He  generously  forbore. 

"I  smoke  only  when  some  very  heavy  work  is  before  me,"  he  went 
on;  "not  otherwise." 

Then  I  had  guessed  aright!  He  had  some  great  work  in  hand.  Never 
before  had  I  seen  so  deep  a  frown  between  those  sagacious  eyes,  never 
had  the  thoughtful  face  been  so  pale,  the  whole  physiognomy  so 
enigmatic.  Never  had  so  thick  a  cloud  of  tobacco  smoke  issued  from 
between  those  oracular  lips. 

"I  expect  a  visitor,"  he  observed  presently,  between  two  puffs  of 
tobacco  smoke. 

"Where?"  I  asked. 

"Here,"  said  Hone  simply.  "I  left  word  at  home  that  any  one  who 
called  at  my  place  was  to  come  on  here.  Read  this!"  He  tossed  a  letter 
across  the  table.  I  read  aloud : 

"Dear  Sir: 

I  will  do  myself  the  pleasure  of  waiting  upon  you  between  five  and 

six  to-day. 

Yours  faithfully, 

JOHN  SMITH" 

"A  pregnant  communication,  Jobson,  eh?" 

"I  dare  say,  but  I  confess  I  don't  see  anything  peculiar  about  it." 
I  looked  again  at  the  letter.  It  seemed  to  me  as  plain  an  epistle  as  any 
man  could  write.  A  dunning  tradesman  might  have  written  it  —  a 
tax  collector  might  have  subscribed  it. 

"What  do  you  make  of  those  t's,  Jobson?  Does  the  spacing  of  the 
words  tell  you  anything?  Are  those  w's  and  1's  there  for  nothing?" 

"To  me,  Hone,  they  are  there  for  nothing,  but  then  —  I  am  not  a 
Purlock  Hone." 


242  OUR    MR.   SMITH 

He  smiled  as  he  regarded  me  with  pity,  and  cocked  his  left  eye, 
using  one  of  those  fascinating  and  favourite  actions  of  his  that  bring 
him  down  to  the  level  of  our  common  humanity. 

"It  is  a  disguised  hand,  Jobson,  and  do  you  observe  the  absence  of 
an  address?" 

The  lucid  and  enlightened  explanation  that  I  expected  was  cut 
short  by  a  ring  at  the  door  bell.  Immediately  afterwards  the  maid 
announced  Mr.  Smith.  A  little  man  with  grey  side  whiskers,  a  neat 
black  frock  coat  and  carrying  a  somewhat  gampish  silk  umbrella, 
entered  the  room. 

"Be  seated,  Mr.  —  Smith."  The  slight  pause  between  the  last  two 
words  of  Hone's  sentence  was  eloquent. 

"Which  of  you  two  gentlemen  is  Pur  lock  Hone,  Esquire?"  The 
accent  on  which  "Mr.  Smith"  spoke  was  cockney  and  the  tone 
deprecating. 

I  looked  to  Hone  to  answer.  He  smiled  upon  the  stranger.  It  was  a 
smile  of  complete  approval. 
"Admirable!"  said  my  friend.  "Pray  go  on,  sir." 
The  visitor  was  visibly  taken  aback. 

"I  asks  a  plain  question,  gentlemen,  and  I  looks  to  get  a  plain 
answer." 

"It  does  you  the  greatest  credit,  my  dear  sir,"  said  Hone.  "It  would 
pass  almost  anywhere;" 

The  little  gentleman  with  grey  side  whiskers  got  red  in  the  face 
and  his  eyes  grew  round.  He  was  obviously  angry,  or  was  he  only 
acting  anger? 

My  friend  Purlock  Hone,  as  I  think  I  have  observed  before  in  the 
course  of  these  memoirs,  often  smiles,  but  seldom  condescends  to 
laugh. 

Our  visitor  coloured  violently  and  struck  the  end  of  his  umbrella 
on  the  floor.  "Look  here,"  he  said,  "play-acting  is  play-acting,  but  I 
comes  here  on  business;  my  name  is  John  Smith,  and  I  don't  want 
none  of  your  chaff." 

"Capital!  Capital!  Go  on,  Mr.  — Smith!" 

"I  will  do  so,  sir,  if  you  please!"  The  little  gentleman  put  his  hand 
in  the  inner  breast  pocket  of  his  coat  and  produced  therefrom  a  blue 
envelope;  a  quick  glance  at  the  superscription  showed  me  that  it  was 
addressed  to  my  friend  and  was  written  in  that  bold,  regular,  cursive 


OUR    MR.   SMITH  243 

hand  which  is  characteristic  of  the  man  engaged  in  commercial 
pursuits.  My  interest  was  now  strongly  roused.  I  waited  eagerly  i 

developments. 

The  mysterious  visitor  looked  from  one  to  the  other  of  us.  As  you 
two  gentlemen  refuse  to  say  which  of  you  is  Hone,  Esquire,  I'll  mak< 
so  bold  as  to  read  this  communication  to  the  two  of  you." 

"You  may  do  so  with  perfect  safety,  Mr. -Smith.  My  friend 

in  my  confidence." 

The  little  gentleman  cast  a  puzzled  look  at  us  both  and  read  as 
follows:  "'To  Purlock  Hone,  Esquire,  Dear  Sir -Our  Mr.  Smith 
will  wait  on  you  in  respect  of  our  little  account  already  rendered  and 
which  you  have  no  doubt  overlooked.  Early  attention  to  the  same  wil 

1    1  *  '  >* 

oblige.  i     i     j    TT- 

The  reader  paused  and  looked  at  my  friend.  I,  too,  looked,  i 
face  was  inscrutable,  his  lips  were  grimly  closed.  My  curiosity  - 
shall  I  say  my  indiscretion  ?— got  the  better  of  me. 

"And  whose  Mr.  Smith  may  you  be,  sir?"  I  asked. 

The  little  man  glibly  read  out  the  conclusion  of  the  letter:  "  'Yours 
obediently,  Dear  Sir,  Jones  and  Sons;  Hatters;  Oxford  Street' And 
here  is  the  bill,  gentlemen.  'To  one  fancy  broad-brimmed  sil\  hat- 
cathedral  style;  -  To  one  clerical  soft  felt  bowler;  -  To  one  slouched 
Spanish  Sombrero;  — To  one  .  .  .  ' 

Purlock  Hone  raised  his  hand,  as  if  deprecating  a  list  of  furthei 
items,  and  Mr.  Smith  stopped  and  stared  at  him. 

"What!"  I  thought.  "Is  it  a  real  account  for  hats  —  after  all!    1 
remembered  all  these  unusual  forms  of  head-covering  having  formed 
parts  of  the  various  disguises  in  which  my  friend  had  walked  the 
streets  of  London  incognito.  No!  There  must  be  some  deep  diplomatic 
secret  behind  the  seemingly  simple  transaction! 

"What  is  the  total  amount,  Mr.  Smith?"  asked  my  friend  in  muffl 

tones. 

"Nine,  eleven,  four,  sir." 

Without  another  word  Hone  walked  across  to  my  writing-table, 
took  his  cheque  book  from  his  pocket,  sat  down,  and  wrote  and  signed 
a  cheque  for  nine  pounds  eleven  shillings  and  fourpence. 

"There  you  are,  Mr.  Smith.  No  —  don't  trouble  to  give  me  a  receipt. 
The  cheque  is  to  order  and  Jones  &  Sons'  endorsement  will  be  as 
good  as  a  receipt." 


244  OUR  MR*  SMITH 

"Mr.  Smith"  rose  quickly  as  my  friend  pronounced  these,  no  doubt, 
pregnant  words,  bowed,  and  took  his  departure  with  "I  wish  you 
good  morning,  gentlemen."  He  preserved  the  deprecating  attitude  and 
the  cockney  accent  of  the  small  tradesman  to  the  very  last. 

Purlock  Hone  preserved  a  pregnant  silence.  He  slowly  rilled  my 
pipe  for  the  fourth  time  with  strong  Cavendish  tobaco.  I  struck  a 
match  and  handed  it  to  him.  It  was  my  tacit  tribute  of  admiration 
to  the  skill  with  which  this  mysterious  scene,  of  evidently  the  highest 
diplomatic  tension,  had  been  played  through  without  a  hitch  by  the 
two  great  actors  concerned.  Words  would  have  failed  me  —  had  I 
attempted  to  use  them.  My  friend  held  my  wrist  while  he  lit  his 
pipe  at  my  match.  His  hand  did  not  tremble  more  than  mine  —  in- 
deed not  so  much. 

"Purlock  Hone!"  I  cried  with  rising  enthusiasm,  "if  I  did  not 
know  that  a  great  diing  had  passed  and  that  Mr.  Smidi  was  the 
emissary  of  some  great  European  Power  and  the  bearer  of  some  deep 
international  secret,  and  that  you  have  conveyed  a  secret  reply  to 
some  European  potentate  under  the  pretence  of  writing  a  cheque  on 
your  banker,  I  could  have  sworn  that  Mr.  Smith  was  a  dunning 
hatter's  assistant,  and  that  you  had  paid  an  overdue  bill!" 

"Jobson,  you  know  I  make  a  rule  never  to  take  you  in  —  every 
one  else,  but  not  you.  Mr.  Smith  was  in  point  of  fact  an  emissary,  but 
only  from  Jones  &  Sons  of  Oxford  Street,  and  I  have  paid  their  bill." 

Purlock  Hone  is  one  of  the  few  men  who  can  afford  to  tell  the  plain 
truth  when  it  is  against  him.  He  is  great  even  in  defeat! 


Detective:  SHERLOCK  HOLMES 

THE  FOOTPRINTS   ON  THE 
CEILING         ;   ;     ; 

by  JULES  CAST1ER 


On  December  2,  1914  the  author,  then  a  French  soldier,  was 
captured  by  the  Germans  in  Alsace  and  fax  a  prisoner  of  war 
until  after  the  armistice  was  signed.  M.  Castier,  to  put  it  mildly, 
did  not  get  along  with  his  captors.  He  passed  through  "a  series 
of  imprisonments,  court-martials,  more  imprisonments,  re- 
prisals, and  the  /%."  He  was  even  tried  once  (and  sentenced) 

for  high  treason. 

His  greatest  solace,  M.  Castier  tells  us,  lay  in  reading  - 
whenever  he  was  allowed  boof^s.  Chafing  against  his  detention 
and  other  troubles,  M.  Castier  hit  on  the  idea  of  writing  a 
sequence  of  parodies  of  the  authors  he  had  read,  and  it  is  one 
of  these  parodies  we  now  bring  you. 

"The  Footprints  on  the  Ceiling"  is  a  double-barreled  bur- 
lesque of  Doyle.  It  parodies  not  only  Dr.  Watson  and  Sherloc^ 
Holmes,  but  that  other  great  Doyle  character,  Professor  Chal- 
lenger, as  well;  and  it  concerns  a  disappearance  so  strange,  so 
unique,  that  it  can  be  described  only  as  "out  of  this  world." 
If  the  reader  is  interested  in  M.  Castier' s  other  parodies  — of 
Arnold  Bennett,  G.  K.  Chesterton,  Joseph  Conrad,  John  Gals- 
worthy, E.  W.  Hornung,  W.  W.  Jacobs,  Rudyard  Kipling, 
William  Le  Queux,  George  Bernard  Shaw,  Robert  Louis  Steven- 
son, H.  G.  Wells,  Oscar  Wilde,  and  others  —  he'll  find  them  in 
a  volume  called  RATHER  LIKE  .  .  .  (London,  Jenkins,  1920;  Phil- 
adelphia, Lippincott,  1920) . 


W, 


,    VHEN,  some  years  ago,  I  attempted  to  chronicle  the  stupendous 
adventure  of  our  little  group  in  the  "Lost  World"  of  South  America, 


246  THE    FOOTPRINTS    ON    THE    CEILING 

and,  some  time  later,  its  still  more  amazing  episode  while  the  earth 
was  passing  through  the  "Poison  Belt"  of  ether,  I  little  thought  it 
might  be  my  lot  to  relate  another  marvelous  occurrence  some  of  us 
were  to  go  through;  and  I  feel  it  my  duty  to  set  it  down  at  once, 
while  most  of  the  details  are  still  fresh  in  my  memory. 

It  was  a  warm  day  in  June  —  the  fourteenth,  as  I  make  out  by  an 
entry  in  my  notebook  —  that  the  adventure  may  be  said  to  begin.  I 
had  just  come  out  of  Mr.  MacArdle's  office;  die  kindhearted  old  Scot 
was  about  to  retire  from  die  post  he  had  occupied  so  long,  that  of 
news  editor  to  the  Daily  Gazette,  to  which  (I  say  it  in  all  modesty) 
the  proprietors  had  decided  to  promote  me.  Old  MacArdle  had  given 
me  a  few  parting  words  of  sound  advice,  and  I  was  still  meditating  his 
well-meant  remarks  while  I  sat  down  in  my  own  little  office,  which 
I  was  to  leave  so  soon.  My  brain  was  full  of  lingering  thoughts  of  the 
past,  mingling  with  vague  plans  for  the  future,  when  the  office  boy 
came  thundering  in,  bearing  a  visiting-card  between  his  none  too 
clean  fingers. 

"A  gentleman  to  see  you,  Mr.  Malone,"  he  cried,  banging  the  door. 

"Sure  it's  me  he  wants  to  see,  and  not  Mr.  MacArdle?"  I  cautiously 
demanded,  not  wishing  to  be  disturbed  uselessly. 

"He  said  Mr.  Malone,  sir,"  the  boy  assured  me. 

"Well,  show  him  in,"  I  said,  looking  at  the  card,  which  bore  the 
printed  inscription:  DR.  WATSON,  below  which  I  read,  in  a  barely 
legible  handwriting:  requests  the  favor  of  a  few  minutes'  interview 
with  Mr.  Malone.  Here  were  the  tables  turned,  indeed!  I  was  all  the 
more  puzzled,  as  I  knew  nothing  of  this  Dr.  Watson.  I  was  revolving 
in  my  mind  the  several  doctors,  and  the  many  Watsons,  with  whom 
I  was  more  or  less  acquainted,  when  the  door  opened  again,  and  a 
plain-faced  man  —  evidently  a  physician  —  was  ushered  in  by  the 
irrepressible  office  boy. 

"How  do  you  do,  Mr.  Malone?"  he  said  in  a  singularly  oppressed- 
sounding  voice,  anxiety  seeming  to  pierce  through  his  open  lips  and 
sallow  cheeks. 

"Good  afternoon,  Dr.  Watson,"  I  rejoined.  "What  may  I  do  for  you  ? 
I  am  afraid  you  must  have  made  a  mistake,  as  —  " 

"I  think  not,"  he  hastily  interrupted.  "I  must  ask  you  to  excuse  me, 
but  you  are  the  Mr.  Malone,  Professor  Challenger's  friend?" 

"Indeed,  I  have  the  honor  of  his  acquaintance,"  said  I,  "although 


THE    FOOTPRINTS    ON    THE    CEILING  247 

friendship  is,  I  fear,  too  presumptuous  a  word,  on  my  part  at  least." 
"Well,  Mr.  Malone,"  he  continued,  in  gulping  torrents  of  words, 
"I  must  intrude  upon  your  time  to  the  extent  of  asking  you  for  an 
introduction  to  Professor  Challenger.  It  is  a  matter  of  life  and  death. 
I  know  the  eminent  scientist  and  his  wife  do  not  care  to  be  inter- 
viewed by  strangers,  and  that  is  why  I  appeal  to  you." 

"Indeed,  Dr.  Watson,"  I  replied,  "I  doubt  whether  Professor  Chal- 
lenger would  consent  to  see  you  at  all,  even  if  I  were  to  introduce 

you  to  him." 

"He  is  your  friend  —  and  what  I  ask  is  on  behalf  of  a  friend  ot 
mine,  Mr.  Sherlock  Holmes,  of  whom  you  have  doubtless  heard." 
"I  must  apologize  for  my  ignorance,"  I  replied.  "However,  I  am 
quite  willing  to  answer  your  urgent  appeal  to  friendship  —  although 
I  have  very  little  confidence  in  my  power  to  help.  The  best  I  can 
do  would  be,  I  suppose,  to  accompany  you  myself  to  Professor  Chal- 
lenger's: you  might  explain  the  matter  to  me  on  the  way." 

"Mr.  Malone,"  he  answered,  heaving  a  deep  sigh  of  relief/'!  shall 
indeed  be  greatly  indebted  to  you,  if  you  can  spare  the  time." 
"Let  me  see,"  I  mused,  "there  is  a  train  from  Victoria  at - 
But  he  interrupted  me  at  once. 

"I  have  a  forty-horsepower  Humber  waiting  outside,  which  will 
take  us  to  Rotherfield  before  we  could  get  there  by  train." 

"Very  well,"  I  replied.  "Pray  excuse  me  a  moment  while  I  see  my 
assistant,  and  I  shall  be  quite  ready  for  you." 

I  found  Harper,  my  assistant,  smoking  his  pipe  in  the  passage, 
and  hurriedly  told  him  of  my  unexpected  mission.  After  which, 
putting  on  my  cap  and  coat,  and  throwing  a  couple  of  rugs  over 
my  arm,  I  rejoined  Dr.  Watson  and  was  conducted  to  his  car,  which 
a  smart  chauffeur  set  in  motion  at  once,  without  even  waiting  for 
any  direction  from  his  master. 

We  had  hardly  set  off,  however,  when  I  heard  my  name  shouted 
by  a  voice  I  could  not  fail  to  recognize  instantly,  while  I  turned  to  gaze 
at  a  tall,  thin  figure,  clad  in  a  gray  tweed  shooting  suit,  that  emerged 
from  a  motorcar  just  a  few  yards  behind  ours. 

"Hullo,  young  fellah!"  cried  Lord  John  Roxton.  Beside  him  was 
sitting  another  tall  man,  though  he  had  nothing  in  common  with 
his  companion:  silent  and  absorbed,  he  looked  more  like  a  human 
mummy  than  a  living  being,  and  the  slow  beating  of  the  temples 


248  THE    FOOTPRINTS    ON    THE    CEILING 

was  the  only  sign  of  life  he  seemed  to  give.  I  was  waving  my  hand 
in  reply  to  Lord  John  when  my  companion  suddenly  sprang  up  in 
his  turn,  and,  pointing  towards  the  second  car,  cried  out  excitedly: 
"What,  Holmes!  You  don't  mean  to  say  you  —  " 
"My  dear  Watson,"  calmly  replied  my  friend's  fellow  passenger, 
"since  we  are  obviously  bound  for  the  same  destination,  I  think  we 
could  no  better  than  use  the  same  car.  Lord  John,"  he  continued, 
turning  to  his  companion,  "shall  we  join  our  friends?  I  am  sure  Dr. 
Watson's  car  will  be  more  comfortable,  and  faster  than  our  taxi." 
"Right  you  are,"  said  Lord  John,  "besides,  the  more,  the  merrier." 
Accordingly  both  vehicles  were  stopped,  Lord  John  paid  his  chauf- 
feur, and  the  little  party  of  four  were  soon  seated  in  the  capacious 
40-H.-P.,  smoothly  running  southwards. 

After  a  few  exuberant  remarks  from  Lord  John  Roxton  in  his 
most  characteristic  manner,  his  companion,  looking  keenly  at  me, 
began  speaking  in  a  marvelously  even  and  passionless  voice. 
"Good  day,  Mr.  Malone." 

"Indeed,  Holmes,"  interrupted  his  friend,  "I  am  afraid  I  should 
have  introduced  you:  pray  excuse  my  carelessness  .  .  .  Though  how 
you  immediately  hit  on  Mr.  Malone's  name  —  seeing  you  don't  know 
him,  and  absolutely  ignored  what  I  was  about  to  do  —  I  really  fail 
to  see." 

"Marvelous!"  exclaimed  Lord  John.  "Most  astonishin',  I  call  it." 
"It  is  the  simplest  thing  imaginable,"  Holmes  calmly  proceeded, 
turning  to  me.  "It  is  obvious  you  are  a  journalist:  your  pockets  are 
crammed  with  notebooks,  and  I  see  a  Waterman  peeping  out  of  your 
waistcoat  pocket;  the  second  finger  of  your  right  hand  is  somewhat 
horny  on  the  left  side  —  an  evident  sign  of  active  use  of  pen  and 
pencil;  there  are  a  few  ink-stains  on  your  coat  sleeves  —  where  oc- 
casionally you  dab  your  pen  to  rid  it  of  any  small  encumbrance  it 
may  have  caught;  you  are  somewhat  shortsighted  —  a  sign  of  much 
reading  or  writing.  Moreover,  I  see  copies  of  the  Daily  Gazette 
protruding  not  only  from  your  coat,  but  also  between  the  rugs  over 
your  arm  —  which  makes  it  quite  evident  that  you  are  on  the  staff 
of  that  paper.  Now  I  see  you  with  my  friend  Watson,  who  is  greatly 
concerned  with  the  fate  of  Professor  Challenger  .  .  .  Challenger  has 
very  few  journalist  friends;  in  fact,  the  only  one  is  Mr.  Malone:  a 
child  would  deduce  your  identity." 


THE    FOOTPRINTS    ON    THE    CEILING  249 

"Absolutely  rippin'!"  exclaimed  Lord  John;  while  I  was  too  much 

amazed  for  words. 

"By  the  way,"  continued  this  remarkable  man,  turning  to  i 
companion,  "let  me  congratulate  you  on  your  movements,  my  dear 
Watson.  It  was  indeed  most  thoughtful  of  you  to  enlist  the  service 
of  Mr  Malone,  who  is  one  of  the  two  only  men  now  in  England  with 
the  power  of  securing  an  introduction  to  Professor  Challenger.  J 
was  about  to  look  him  up  myself  at  his  office,  when,  by  a  lucky  chance 
I  met  Lord  John  Roxton,  whom,  of  course,  I  instantly  recognize 
from  the  description  given  in  Mr.  Malone's  narratives." 

"Yes,"  put  in  my  friend,  "extraordinary  it  was,  too,  seem  yo 
never  even  set  eyes  on  me  before." 

"A  simple  instance  of  deduction,  aided  by  memory, 

Sherlock  Holmes. 
Now,  however,  I  turned  to  him  and  his  friend,  with  questioning 

f*\t  £*Q 

"Perhaps,"  said  I,  "you  could  now  explain  the  object  of  your  mis- 
sion- for  I  cannot  conceal  my  astonishment." 

"Right  you  are,  young  fellah,"  echoed  Lord  John.  '  Come  now, 
gentlemen,  will  you  kindly  explain?" 

'  "You  have  a  perfect  right  to  know  everything,"  answered 
Watson,  "and  as  we  have  some  time  before  us,  I  think  there  is  no 
reason  whatever  for  withholding  the  explanation  any  longer.  You 
must  know,  then,  that  Professor  Challenger  has  disappeared." 
The  effect  of  this  revelation  was  startling  on  both  of  us. 
"What!"  exclaimed  Lord  John,  "a  man  of  his  size,  disappearin' 
in  the  middle  of  a  civilized  country!" 
"It  is  indeed  incredible,"  I  cried  out. 

"I  received  the  news  from  his  old  chauffeur,  Austin,"  Holmes  said, 
"and  immediately  started  on  my  investigation.  At  the  present  moment 
I  happen  to  know  a  few  data  concerning  the  case:  for  instance,  the 
person  whom  I  suspect  of  having  absconded  with  the  professor  is  a 
small  man,  with  blond  hair  and  long  fingernails;  he  must  be  in  some 
great  distress,  and  was  formerly  a  creature  of  higher  standard,  now 
evidently  fallen  somewhat  in  the  social  and  moral  scale.  I  hope 
lay  my  hands  on  him  at  no  very  future  date,  but  in  order  to  do  so, 
I  must  examine  Professor  Challenger's  abode  with  some  care 
is  why  I  set  out  to  find  you,  Mr.  Malone,  little  dreaming  that  I  shoi 


250  THE    FOOTPRINTS    ON    THE    CEILING 

first  meet  Lord  John  Roxton,  and  still  less  that  my  friend  Dr.  Watson 
would  be  simultaneously  —  and  successfully  —  engaged  on  the  same 
quest." 

"Holmes,"  excitedly  exclaimed  Dr.  Watson,  "accustomed  to  your 
deductive  methods  as  I  am,  I  am  quite  overwhelmed  by  all  this  in- 
formation about  the  unknown  blackguard  on  whose  track  we  all  of 
us  are  now  set!  How  on  earth  has  it  been  possible  for  you  to  get  at 
it?  Have  you  discovered  some  new  clue  since  I  left  you?" 

"None  whatever,"  calmly  rejoined  this  remarkable  man.  "I  know 
nothing  more  than  you  —  we  were  together  when  the  chauffeur 
rushed  into  my  rooms  in  Baker  Street,  and  related  his  master's  strange 
disappearance." 

"Why,  dash  it  all,"  Lord  John  cried  out,  "it's  clean  marvelous!" 

"Indeed,"  I  hastily  added,  "you  might  do  us  the  favor  of  explaining 
something  of  your  process,  Mr.  Holmes." 

"It  is  the  simplest  thing  imaginable,"  he  answered.  "All  the  data 
were  inferred  from  Austin's  visit.  You  may  recollect  the  man:  of 
middle  height,  none  too  strong,  though  indubitably  tough,  and 
eminently  impassive.  From  these  characteristics,  it  is  evident  that  the 
kidnaper  is  a  small  man  —  " 

"My  dear  Holmes!"  ejaculated  the  doctor. 

"Of  course,  my  dear  fellow,"  continued  his  friend.  "If  he  had  been 
tall  and  strong,  or  only  of  medium  height  and  strength,  he  would 
certainly  have  seen  to  it  that  Austin  be  removed,  and  put  out  of  the 
possibility  of  telling  tales.  Austin  was  left  free:  ergo  the  kidnaper  is 
physically  his  inferior.  The  color  of  his  hair,  and  the  abnormal  length 
of  his  fingernails,  were  immediately  deduced  by  a  casual  glance  at 
the  cap  Austin  wore  —  it  was  not  his  own,  as  I  at  once  remarked;  you 
may  recollect  he  said,  in  reply  to  one  of  my  questions,  it  was  one  of 
his  master's;  well,  the  cap  was  strewn  with  long,  fair,  reddish  hairs, 
and  bore  marks  of  tearing,  which  could  only  have  been  accomplished 
by  fingernails:  I  have  studied  the  question  in  some  detail;  the  tech- 
nicalities may,  of  course,  be  found  in  my  pamphlet  on  the  subject  — 
and  I  am  perfectly  sure  of  my  conclusion." 

"Rippin'!"  exclaimed  Lord  John  Roxton. 

"But  how  could  you  deduce  the  moral  and  social  part  of  your 
inference?"  I  asked,  admiration  for  this  deductive  genius  not  yet 
quenching  my  thirst  for  his  secrets. 


THE    FOOTPRINTS    ON    THE    CEILING  251 

"Equally  simple,  Mr.  Malone,"  he  answered,  smiling.  "First  of 
all,  it  is  quite  clear  no  one  would  dream  of.  absconding  with  a  man 
like  Professor  Challenger  if  he  could  possibly  do  otherwise;  hence 
the  great  distress.  Moreover,  the  fact  of  kidnaping  a  man  of  such 
acknowledged  genius  points  to  a  certain  intellectual  and  moral 
standard:  the  common  criminal  would  kidnap  a  millionaire,  and  hold 
him  for  ransom  — but  not  a  scientist:  and  last  of  all,  our  man  has 
certainly  fallen  rather  low  in  the  moral  and  social  scale,  else  he  would 
visibly  not  have  reverted  to  such  extreme  measures  .  .  .  You  see,  it 
is  all  perfectly  simple." 

"You  beat  Euclid  hollow,"  roared  Lord  John.  "Don't  you  think  so, 

young  fellah?" 

"As  far  as  I  can  remember,"  I  answered,  smiling  ruefully,  "Euclid 
only  deduces  things  that  everybody  knew  already,  or  ought  to  know, 
whereas  Mr.  Holmes  makes  the  whole  invisible  effect  appear  under 
the  full  limelight  of  the  cause." 

"Very  neatly  put,  I'm  sure,"  added  Dr.  Watson.  "But  here,  unless 
I  am  mistaken,  we  are  at  our  journey's  end." 

At  some  distance  behind  us,  peering  over  a  clipped  hedge,  was 
Professor  Challenger's  so  unhospitable  notice-board.  We  were  passing 
between  the  posts  of  a  gate,  and  at  the  end  of  a  drive  hedged  in  with 
rhododendron  bushes,  the  familiar  brick  house  peered  smilingly  at 
us  —  that  is,  at  least  at  two  of  us. 

Entering  the  house,  we  were  met  by  little  Mrs.  Challenger,  as 
dainty  as  ever,  though  her  eyes  were  red  with  recent  crying,  and 
her  whole  face  bore  the  marks  of  the  anxiety  and  sorrow  she  had 
undergone.  She  came  up  to  Lord  John  and  myself,  while  a  look  of 
gratitude  and  hope  passed,  for  an  instant,  across  her  careworn  features. 
'  "Oh.  Lord  John,  and  you,  Mr.  Malone!"  she  exclaimed  in  a  voice 
bordering  between  tears  and  joy.  "How  kind  of  you  to  come  to  me 
in  my  distress!  I  would  not  have  dared  to  trouble  you  myself,  but  1 
cannot  express  my  relief  at  seeing  you  here." 

"It's  all  right,  my  dear  Mrs.  Challenger,"  cheerfully  replied  Lord 
John  Roxton.  "Although  Malone  and  I  are  little  good,  I'm  afraid, 
we've  brought  you  a  rippin'  friend  in  need,  who'll  find  the  professor 
in  half  the  time  it'd  take  me  to  stalk  a  buffalo  ...  May  I  introduce 
you  to  Mr.  Sherlock  Holmes,  and  to  Dr.  Watson,  his  friend?  .  .  . 
Gentlemen,  Mrs.  Challenger." 


252  THE    FOOTPRINTS    ON    THE    CEILING 

She  shook  hands  gratefully  with  both  of  them,  and  was  speaking 
some  words  of  welcome  to  the  latter,  when  I  noticed  that  Holmes 
had  disappeared.  Dr.  Watson  immediately  excused  his  friend's  ap- 
parent impropriety,  on  the  plea  that  he  was  already  following  some 
clue  to  the  mystery.  All  three  of  us  then  followed  her  into  the  cozy 
boudoir  where  we  had  passed  such  memorable  hours  while  the  world 
was  passing  through  the  Poison  Belt. 

She  had  begun  to  relate  her  husband's  strange  disappearance,  which 
had  occurred  on  the  preceding  day.  The  professor  had  retired  to  his 
study  after  breakfast,  as  usual,  and  when  Austin,  as  was  his  habit, 
knocked  at  the  door  to  announce  lunch,  he  had  received  no  answer; 
the  faithful  chauffeur  had  finally  entered  the  study,  only  to  find 
himself  in  an  empty  room.  His  master  had  said  nothing  of  leaving,  or 
even  of  going  out;  indeed,  nobody  had  left  the  house,  through  the 
door,  at  any  rate.  Having  reached  this  point  in  her  narrative,  Mrs. 
Challenger  broke  down,  and  it  was  only  by  our  combined  efforts 
that  she  finally  managed  to  recover  her  composure,  though  her  eyes 
filled  with  tears. 

Suddenly  the  door  was  thrown  open,  and  Sherlock  Holmes,  keen 
and  alert,  burst  into  the  room,  walking  straight  up  to  Dr.  Watson. 

"Watson,"  he  said  in  that  calm  and  passionless  voice  of  his,  though 
it  was  easy  to  see  he  was  tingling  with  excitement,  "would  you  be 
so  kind  as  to  give  me.  some  information  concerning  Zeeman's  phe- 
nomenon? I  have,  myself,  dabbled  somewhat  in  science,  but  I  am 
afraid  I  have  no  recollection  of  this  apparently  recently  discovered 
notion,  and  I  apply  to  you  as  to  the  scientist  of  our  party." 

"My  dear  Holmes,"  replied  Watson,  visibly  disappointed,  "I'm 
sure  I  utterly  fail  to  see  what  Zeeman's  phenomenon  has  to  do  with 
your  case.  Indeed,  I  am  afraid  it  is  somewhat  outside  the  range  of  a 
mere  physician.  Nevertheless,  I  may  tell  you  broadly  what  it  is. 
Zeeman  was  the  first  to  discover  that  all  the  colors  and  lines  re- 
vealed by  spectral  analysis  are  actually  deviated  by  some  influences  — 
amongst  others,  by  a  strong  magnetic  field." 

"Then  I  have  it!"  exclaimed  Holmes,  himself  moved  to  some 
display  of  excitement  his  voice  no  longer  suppressed. 

"What?"    Mrs.    Challenger    cried    out.    "You    mean    you    have 
found  .  .  ." 
"Professor  Challenger  will  be  amongst  us  within  a  few  minutes," 


THE    FOOTPRINTS    ON    THE    CEILING  253 

he  resumed,  in  tones  once  more  void  of  any  emotion.  "Gentlemen,  I 
request  you  to  follow  me  into  the  scientist's  study.  Pray  excuse  us, 

Madam."  .     .      ( 

The  four  of  us  found  ourselves  in  the  familiar  study,  a  loc 
amazement  on  the  faces  of  all  save  Sherlock  Holmes,  who  began  in 
an  even  voice:  "I  must  first  of  all  confess  that  I  was  completely  wrong 
about  the  results  I  told  you  of  on  the  way  here;  I  was  completely 
misled  by  appearances,  which  only  proves  that  one  should  never 
work  on  preconceived  ideas.  However,  I  am  happy  to  say 
covered  my  mistake  as  soon  as  I  entered  this  room." 

"How  on  earth  could  the  simple  aspect  of  this  room  account  tor 
such  a  change?"  muttered  Dr.  Watson,  turning  his  puzzled  face 

towards  his  friend. 

"Look,"  replied  Holmes,  pointing  first  to  the  ceiling,  and 
a  mass  of  papers  strewn  about  the  scientist's  desk.  "The  ceiling  un- 
questionably bears  footprints  ...  And  these  papers  all  contain  dia- 
grams and  rough  jottings,  where  the  words  Zeeman's  phenomenon 
ever  recur.  Here  —  "  he  pointed  towards  a  little  case  attached  to  t 
wall  _  "is  an  electric  switch  commanding  an  electro-magnet  in  the 
laboratory  (as  the  inscription  says)  :  you  may  notice  the  current  is 
now  on.  On  further  investigation,  I  ascertained  that  the  current  con- 
sumed since  the  Company's  last  visit  (which  happens  to  have  been 
yesterday)  is  no  less  than  2000  Kwh.  ...  The  missing  link  in  this 
remarkable  chain  of  evidence  was  given  me  just  now  by  Watson's 
explanation  of  Zeeman's  phenomenon  —  and  now  Professor 
lenger  will  instantly  return." 

All  three  of  us  were  too  dumfounded  to  understand;  what  Sherlock 
Holmes  called  a  chain  of  evidence  was  an  inextricable  labyrinth  to 
me,  and  I  was  just  about  to  set  a  question,  when  I  saw  him  jump 
forward,  and  calmly  switch  off  the  electric  current.  Immediately  the 
silence  seemed  intensified;  we  gazed  spellbound  at  one  another,  and 
suddenly  a  massive  form  was  visible,  apparently  dropping  out  of 
nowhere,  in  the  region  of  the  ceiling. 

Holmes  was  the  first  to  act.  He  sprang  forth,  and  clutched  at  the 
apparition,  from  which  a  bellowing  yell  issued  at  the  same  time.  1 
came  nearer  in  my  turn,  and  was  able  to  make  out  a  black  beard,  a 
huge  head,  with  a  broad  forehead  and  a  dark  plaster  of  black  hair, 
then  two  clear  gray  eyes,  with  their  insolent  eyelids  —  and  suddenly 


254  THE    FOOTPRINTS    ON    THE    CEILING 

I  recognized  the  missing  man.  Holmes,  lithe  as  a  panther,  caught  him 
in  his  arms,  and  instantly  set  him  on  his  feet. 

"Hullo!  What  the  devil  do  you  mean?  Now  my  young  friend, 
what  is  all  this?"  How  inexpressibly  glad  I  was  to  hear  the  familiar 
voice! 

"Why,  Herr  Professor!"  cried  out  Lord  John. 

"Yes,  himself,"  came  Challenger's  sonorous  bass  — and  suddenly 
perceiving  the  two  others,  he  went  on:  "And  may  I  ask  who  these 
intruders  are?" 

"Dear  Professor  Challenger,"  I  tried  to  calm  him,  "these  gentlemen 
came  here  with  Lord  John  and  myself,  and  have  just  solved  the 
mystery  of  your  disappearance  —  " 

"My  disappearance?"  he  vigorously  interrupted.  "How  can  I  have 
disappeared,  when  I  was  simply  trying  a  little  experiment  on  Zeeman's 
phenomenon?  Pray  answer  that,  sir  —  yes,  you,  I  mean!"  And  he 
turned  savagely  towards  Sherlock  Holmes. 

Our  remarkable  friend  calmly  met  his  gaze.  "May  I  ask  you  what 
day  you  make  it  out  to  be,  Professor  Challenger?"  he  inquired. 

"What  day?"  bellowed  die  irate  scientist.  "Tell  you  what  day  it 
is?  Yes,  sir,  I  can:  it  is  the  i3th  of  June,  and  it  also  happens  to  be" 

—  here  he  looked  at  his  watch  — "3:35  P.M." 

"As  a  matter  of  fact,"  replied  Holmes,  "you  happen  to  be  wrong 

—  which  is  only  natural  after  your  adventure:  it  is  not  the  I3tli  but 
the  1 4th;  you  have  been  absent  from  our  planet  for  something  over 
twenty-seven  hours." 

"Extraordinary!"  muttered  Lord  John  Roxton. 

"Incredible!"  I  could  not  help  exclaiming. 

"Would  you  mind  explaining  your  meaning,  which  appears  some- 
what blurred  to  my  feeble  intellect?"  asked  Challenger,  taking  up 
his  thundering  irony. 

"Nothing  is  easier,"  said  Sherlock  Holmes.  "Yesterday  morning, 
you  came  into  your  study,  and  started  experimenting  about  Zeeman's 
phenomenon.  You  switched  the  current  into  a  hyper-powerful 
electromagnet,  evidently  not  thinking  of  the  enormous  amount  of 
iron  a  human  body  of  your  dimensions  must  contain  —  or  the  tre- 
mendous effect  the  magnetic  field  might  have  upon  the  spectrum  such 
a  body  would  absorb.  In  short,  Zeeman's  phenomenon  deviated  that 
spectrum  farther  than  could  have  been  expected  —  and  you  followed 


THE    FOOTPRINTS    ON    THE    CEILING  255 

it,  quite  unconsciously,  into  space  —  or  into  ether.  Those  are  the 
traces  of  your  passage,"  he  added,  pointing  to  the  footmarks  on  the 
ceiling.  "It  is  quite  simple,  as  you  see,  my  dear  Watson  .  .  ,  And 
now,  gentlemen,  let  us  return  to  Mrs.  Challenger." 


Detective:  SHERLOCK  HOLMES  Narrator :  WATSON 

THE   END   OF    SHERLOCK    HOLMES 

by  A.  E.  P. 


So  far  in  this  Procession  of  Pastiches  you  have  mis  adventured 
with  Sherloc{  Holmes  the  sleuth.  Now  we  bring  you  The 
Great  Man  in  an  entirely  different  role  — as  the  father  of  a 
three-year-old  child-prodigy. 

Sympathize  with  our  harassed,  heartsick^  hero  —  the  sire  of 
a  satanically  sapient  sprout  —  a  chip  of  the  old  blocJ^,  in  spades. 
It  is  a  shocking  spectacle,  this  deflation  of  a  once  dynamic 
demigod,  this  collapse  of  Colossus,  this  toppling  of  a  Titan.  For 
here  we  see  Holmes  a  stricken,  suffering  shadow  of  himself, 
in  dire  dismay  not  of  a  modern  and  more  murderous  Monarty 
but  of  his  own  odious  offspring. 

Many  hours  of  research  have  failed  to  reveal  the  identity  of 
A.  E.  P.1  who  remains  regretfully  the  anonymous  Ananias  of 
our  anthology. 

This  unusual  pastiche  first  appeared  in  "The  Manchester 
Guardian"  issue  of  July  j,  7927  and  on  this  side  of  the  Atlantic 
in  "The  Living  Age"  issue  of  August  15,  7927.  There  is  reason 
to  believe  that  the  original  title  was  "Sherloc^  Holmes  Finds 
Himself  Out-Holmesed" 

Other  instances  dealing  with  the  scion  of  Sherloc\  include 
John  Kendric\  Bangs 's  Raffles  Holmes,  who  was  the  "son"  of 
Sherloc\  and  the  "grandson"  of  Raffles  (see  page  i<)i,  with  foot- 
note) ;  and  Sherloc\  Holmes,  Jr.,  the  hero  of  a  color-comic  series 
that  appeared  in  the  Sunday  supplements  of  many  American 
newspapers  between  1911  and  1914,  drawn  by  no  less  a  person 
than  Sidney  Smith,  the  creator  of  the  famous  "Gumps."  There 
is  also  Frederic  Arnold  Kummer's  and  Basil  Mitchell's  Shirley 

iMr.  Starrett  inquires:  "Could  A.  E.  P.  possibly  be  Allan  Edgar  Poe?"  A  most  in- 
genious theory! 


THE    END    OF    SHERLOCK    HOLMES  257 

Holmes,  daughter  of  Sherloc^,  assisted  by  Joan  Watson,  daugh- 
ter of  Dr.  Watson,  in  THE  ADVENTURE  OF  THE  QUEEN  BEE  and 
"The  Canterbury  Cathedral  Murder'  (see  page 


[The  following  account  of  the  real  reason  for  Holmes's  retirement 
was  found  among  Dr.  Watson's  private  papers  after  his  death.  It  is 
not  dated,  but  from  internal  evidence  (noticeably  the  mention  < 
ladies'  hat  pins)  it  may  be  placed  about  1903-1905.] 

IT  WAS  my  intention  to  close  these  memoirs  with  the  remarkable 
chain  of  circumstances  resulting  in  the  marriage  of  my  friend  Sher- 
lock Holmes  with  Miss  Falkland.  For  some  time  after  that  event  my 
friend  gave  up  professional  work  and  went  abroad  with  his  wife. 
Our  rooms  in  Baker  Street  were  of  course  destroyed,  and  my  practice 
occupied  my  full  time,  and  certainly  prospered  all  the  better  for  re- 
ceiving my  undivided  attention.  From  time  to  time,  however,  he 
would  be  recalled  to  my  memory  by  some  startling  and  unexplained 
case  claiming  my  attention  in  the  morning's  paper;  and  in  the  "un- 
foreseen circumstances"  and  "unexpected  turn  of  events"  or  remark- 
able instances  of  fresh  light  being  thrown  on  some  obscure  point 
would  recognize  my  friend's  unparalleled  genius,  though,  with 
characteristic  modesty,  his  name  never  appeared. 

For  instance,  there  was  the  remarkable  case  of  the  Hereditary 
Princess  of  Sthoit-Leinengen,  which  culminated  in  a  royal  divorce; 
and  the  still  more  recent  affair  of  the  Grand-Nurse-in-Waiting's  tame 
monkey,  which  made  such  a  stir  and  resulted  in  the  suicide  of  a 
Russian  Consul.  It  was  when  public  excitement  was  at  its  height  over 
the  great  Bribery  Case  in  connection  with  the  Pope's  birthday  cele- 
brations, and  suspicion  had  settled  on  a  well-known  workhouse 
official,  that  I  again  received  intimation  that  Holmes  was  in  England. 
I  had  just  come  in  from  a  long  round  when  the  maidservant  brought 
in  a  note  whose  appearance  struck  me  at  once  as  familiar.  As  I  tore 
it  open  I  mechanically  noticed  that  it  was  written  on  cream-laid  paper, 
with  a  printed  address,  and  that  the  stamp  was  in  the  right-hand  top 
corner  of  the  envelope.  This  lapse  into  long-forgotten  habit  made  me 


258  THE    END    OF    SHERLOCK    HOLMES 

think  of  Holmes,  and  I  was  not  surprised  to  recognize  his  signature 
at  the  foot  of  the  sheet. 

"Dear  Watson,"  it  ran :  "Can  you  come  round  to  the  old  place  at 
3  P.M.  to-morrow  ?  —  Yours,  S.  H." 

I  hastily  scribbled  an  acceptance,  and  the  following  day,  having 
turned  over  my  practice  to  my  assistant  and  locked  the  dispensary 
door  for  fear  of  accidents,  I  hailed  a  "City  Atlas"  and  soon  found 
myself  en  route  for  Baker  Street.  (Holmes  had  taken  rooms  just 
above  our  former  locality.) 

The  door  was  opened  by  a  tired-looking  maid.  I  entered,  and 
encountered  the  gaze  of  a  child  about  three  years  of  age.  He  was 
wearing  a  miniature  dressing  gown,  and  had  just  been  taking  an 
impression  of  the  cat's  foot  in  a  piece  of  dough. 

Before  I  had  time  to  speak  he  had  crawled  rapidly  and  noiselessly 
up  the  stairs  and  announced  me :  "Pa,  there's  a  man  to  see  you." 

"Who  is  it?"  answered  Holmes's  voice,  and  I  was  struck  by  the 
weariness  of  his  tone. 

"He's  a  doctor,  poor,  and  he's  got  a  wife,  but  she  is  away.  He  came 
up  in  the  omnibus,  it  was  very  full,  a  lady  got  in  too,  but  he  didn't 
get  up  to  let  her  have  his  seat,  same  as  he  ought  to,"  said  this  re- 
markable child. 

I  entered  in  response  to  Holmes's  invitation.  The  apartment  was 
thick  with  tobacco  smoke  and  Holmes  was  listlessly  repairing  a 
string  in  his  violin.  He  held  out  his  hand  with  something  of  his  old 
heartiness,  but  there  was  a  tired  look  in  his  eyes  I  did  not  like. 

"Ah,  Watson,  I'm  glad  to  see  you  again."  Then,  following  the 
direction  of  my  glance,  "This  is  my  son  —  Sherlock,  come  and  say 
'How  do  you  do?'  to  the  gentleman." 

"He's  quite  well,  he  did  have  a  cold,  but  that  is  quite  well  too,  and 
he  didn't  put  nothin'  in  the  bag  las'  Sunday,"  finished  this  remarkable 
infant.  I  turned  to  Holmes  in  amazement. 
"But  how  on  earth  —  " 

"Oh,  he  knows,"  said  my  friend  rather  bitterly;  "there  isn't  much 
he  can't  see.  But  it  is  your  professional  assistance  I  want  you  for  now." 
Holmes  was  not  the  man  to  take  such  a  step  lightly,  and  my  gravest 
fears  were  aroused.  I  glanced  keenly  at  him.  His  eyes  were  closed, 
his  temperature  was  normal,  but  the  pulse  was  beating  in  quick 
irregular  jerks,  and  symptoms  pointed  to  a  slight  cerebral  congestion; 


THE    END    OF    SHERLOCK    HOLMES  259 

an  application  of  the  stethoscope  showed  me  at  a  glance  his  nerves 
were  all  to  pieces.  He  languidly  turned  up  his  sleeve. 

"No,"  I  said  firmly,  laying  my  hand  upon  a  small  hypodermic 
syringe  he  had  taken  from  a  pocket  of  his  dressing  gown,  "I  cannot 
allow  any  more  morphia;  you  only  need  rest  and  a  complete  change." 
"Heaven  knows  you're  right,  Watson,  my  dear  fellow,  but  how 
the  deuce  am  I  to  get  it?  Can  you  tell  me  that?" 
I  felt  that  here  was  something  more  than  appeared  on  the  surface. 
"What  is  it  that  prevents  you  — not  Moriarty  again?" 
Holmes  looked  at  me  in  something  of  his  old  manner.  "Watson, 
Watson,  when  shall  I  teach  you  to  eliminate  the  obviously  impos- 
sible? We  have  already  twice  disposed  of  Moriarty  —  once  in  the 
Strand,  and  again  at  the  Lyceum;  you  will  remember  the  circum- 
stances very  well."  He  sighed.  "No,  it  is  not  Moriarty." 

His  eyes  wandered  to  his  son,  who  was  scraping  the  sole  of  a 
shoe  and  examining  the  matter  so  obtained  by  the  aid  of  a  powerful 
lens.  "It  was  Martha  meddled  with  my  specimens,  and  she  said  it 
was  the  cat,"  the  infant  announced  conclusively.  His  face  darkened, 
and  he  crawled  off  after  the  offending  Martha. 
Holmes  turned  to  me.  "What  do  you  make  of  it,  Watson?" 
I  hesitated.  "It  is  evident  he  has  your  talents;  it  must  be  very  grati- 
fying." 

"Watson,  it  is  killing  me.  All  day  long  and  every  hour  of  the  day 
he  is  at  it.  My  wife  has  broken  down  — nervous  system  entirely 
shattered;  no  one  will  visit  us;  we  can't  keep  a  servant  — they  won't 
put  up  with  it." 

"Surely,"  I  said,  "it  is  not  so  bad  as  that;  he  is  only  a  baby  —  " 
Holmes  smiled  bitterly.  "He  contrives  to  do  a  good  deal  in  his 
way.  He  told  the  Dean's  wife  her  husband  had  been  married  before, 
and  that  her  diamonds  were  not  real.  He  took  the  opportunity  of 
announcing  at  an  At  Home  that  Sir  Ronald's  grandfather  was  a 
tailor  in  Stepney,  that  he  made  his  money  in  patent  pills,  and  that 
he  was  afraid  of  his  valet.  He  took  an  impression  in  wax  of  the 
vicar's  thumb  and  subsequently  told  him  that  his  sermons  were  not 
his  own,  that  he  had  some  money  on  Daystar  at  the  St.  Leger,  that 
his  niece  was  a  sempstress,  and  that  his  brother-in-law  was  doing 
time  for  forgery.  He  tracked  the  area  policeman  for  over  three  weeks 
to  find  out  where  he  went  when  he  was  off  duty  —  and  he  told  the 


260  THE    END    OF    SHERLOCK    HOLMES 

tax  collector  his  back  teeth  were  false.  You  have  seen  for  yourself  he 
is  after  Martha  now.  She'll  give  notice  next." 

"Why  don't  you  keep  him  in  the  nursery?" 

"They  can't.  He  outwits  them  in  every  possible  way.  No,  there  is 
only  one  thing  to  be  done:  I  must  take  on  the  job  myself.  Watson, 
Watson,  if  you  are  a  truthful  person  you  will  faithfully  recount  this 
in  the  memoirs  you  are  giving  to  the  public.  I  who  have  baffled 
Moriarty,  I  who  have  had  a  hand  in  unravelling  most  of  the  mysteries 
that  have  perplexed  Europe,  with  knowledge  enough  of  the  seamy 
side  of  courts  and  the  back  doors  of  politics  to  bring  about  a  European 
war  —  I  am  now  compelled  to  turn  all  my  energies  to  circumventing 
my  own  son;  and,  Watson,  it  is  killing  me." 

He  plunged  his  hands  deep  in  his  dressing-gown  pockets,  and  his 
chin  fell  on  his  breast. 

I  crept  out  softly  and  closed  the  door. 


Detective:  SOLAR  PONS  Narrator:  PARKER 

THE   ADVENTURE   OF   THE: 
NORCROSS    RIDDLE  ' 

by  AUGUST  DERLETH 


August  Derleth,  the  youthful  sage  of  Sau\  City,  is  a  Guggen- 
heim Fellow  of  1938  and  special  lecturer  in  American  Regional 
Literature  at  the  University  of  Wisconsin.  One  of  the  most 
prolific  writers  in  the  United  States,  Mr.  Derleth  averages  from 
750,000  to  1,000,000  words  per  year,  and  his  range  is  incredibly 
catholic  —  from  serious  novels,  poetry,  and  biography  to  weird 
tales  (his  first  efforts  but  still  an  active  part  of  his  wor^)  and 
detective  stories. 

Mr.  Derleth  was  born  in  1909,  began  writing  at  the  age  of 
thirteen,  published  at  fifteen,  and  now  in  the  mellow  maturity 
of  middle-thirties  is  engaged  in  one  of  the  most  ambitious 
literary  projects  ever  attempted  —  the  saga  of  Sac  Prairie.  This 
gargantuan  wor\  will  comprise  more  than  fifty  booJ^s  of  which 
thirteen  have  already  been  published.  Mr.  Derleth  compares  the 
scope  of  his  epic  to  Balzac's  COMEDIE  HUMAINE  (HUMAN  COMEDY) 
and  Proust's  A  LA  RECHERCHE  DU  TEMPS  PERDU  (REMEMBRANCE  OF 
THINGS  PAST). 

In  his  literary  adolescence  Mr.  Derleth  was  incurably  bitten 
by  the  Holmesian  bug.  He  wrote  a  series  of  18  tales  — 14  short 
stories,  i  short  novel,  and  3  unfinished  short  stories  —  all  rever- 
ently imitating  the  Sacred  Writings.  Of  this  series  your  Editors 
have  selected  "The  Adventure  of  the  Norcross  Riddle"  as  typi- 
cal of  Mr.  Derleth 's  sincere  homage  at  the  Shrine  of  Sherlock^. 
Internal  evidence  1  places  the  writing  of  "The  Norcross  Riddle" 
in  7928  —  when  Mr.  Derleth  was  only  nineteen  years  old.  How 
many  budding  authors,  not  even  old  enough  to  vote,  could  have 
captured  the  spirit  and  atmosphere  with  as  much  fidelity?  It 

1  The  age  of  Mr.  Manton:  deduce  for  yourself  as  you  read  the  story. 


262  THE    ADVENTURE    OF    THE    NORCROSS    RIDDLE 

proves   how   deeply  Sir  Arthur's  magic  enchanted  youthful 
readers. 

Mr.  Derleth  is  to  be  credited  with  one  innovation.  Writers  of 
pastiches  are  usually  content  to  retain  the  grand  old  name  in 
its  perfect  form.  Mr.  Derleth  elected  to  create  a  variant  —  and 
his  choice  of  the  euphonic  "Solar  Pans"  is  an  appealing  addition 
to  the  fascinating  lore  of  Sherlocfyan  nomenclature. 


T 

JL.H 


__  .HE  SCIENCE  of  deduction  rests  primarily  on  the  faculty  of  ob- 
servation," said  Solar  Pons,  looking  thoughtfully  at  me  with  his  keen 
dark  eyes,  the  ghost  of  a  smile  at  his  thin,  firm  lips. 

"Perhaps  you're  right,"  I  answered,  "but  I  find  that  much  of  my 
so-called  observation  arises  out  of  intuition.  What  do  you  make  of 
that?" 

Pons  chuckled.  "I  don't  deny  it.  We  are  all  intuitive  in  varying 
degrees.  But  for  accuracy  in  conclusions,  observation  must  stand 
first."  He  turned  and  rummaged  through  the  papers  scattered  on 
the  table  beside  his  chair;  from  among  them  he  drew  an  ordinary 
calling  card,  which  he  tossed  over  to  me.  "What  does  your  intuition 
make  of  that?" 

The  card  bore  an  embossed  legend:  MR.  BENJAMIN  HARRISON  MAN- 
TON,  and  in  one  corner,  in  smaller  print,  NORCROSS  TOWERS.  I  turned  it 
over.  The  caller  had  written  on  its  back  Will  call  at  three. 

"My  observation  tells  me  that  the  gentleman  used  a  broad-point 
pen;  die  character  of  the  writing  indicates  that  he  is  firm  and  steady. 
I  see  he  uses  the  Roman  e  consistently;  my  intuition  tells  me  he  is 
an  intelligent  man." 

Pons's  smile  widened,  and  he  chuckled  again. 

"What  do  you  make  of  it?"  I  asked,  somewhat  nettled. 

"Oh,  little  more,"  replied  Pons  matter-of-factly,  "except  that  the 
gentleman  is  an  American  by  birth,  but  has  resided  in  England  for 
some  length  of  time;  he  is  a  man  of  independent  means,  and  is  be- 
tween thirty-five  and  thirty-nine  years  of  age.  Furthermore,  his  an- 
cestry is  very  probably  southern  United  States,  but  his  parents  were 
undoubtedly  members  of  the  American  Republican  political  party." 

"You  have  seen  the  man!" 


THE    ADVENTURE    OF    THE    NORCROSS    RIDDLE  263 

"Nonsense!"  Pons  picked  up  the  card.  "Observe :-- The  name 
Manton  is  more  common  to  the  southern  part  of  the  United  States 
than  to  any  other  region;  undoubtedly  it  is  English  in  ancestry.  In 
that  part  of  the  States,  political  sentiment  is  very  largely  Democratic, 
but  it  is  not  amiss  to  suggest  that  Manton's  parents  were  Republican 
in  sentiment,  since  they  named  him  after  a  Republican  president." 

"Well,  that  is  simple,"  I  admitted. 

"Precisely,  Parker.  But  there  is  no  intuition  about  it.  It  is  mere 
observation.  Now  test  yourself;  tell  me  how  I  know  he  is  of  inde- 
pendent means." 

"He  calls  at  three,"  I  ventured.  "Certainly  if  he  were  not  of  inde- 
pendent means  he  could  not  break  into  an  afternoon  like  that." 

"He  might  well  get  away  from  his  work  to  visit  us,"  objected  Pons. 
"Examine  the  card  more  closely." 

"Well,  it  is  embossed;  that  is  a  more  expensive  process  than  simple 

printing." 

"Good,  Parker.  Come,  you  are  getting  there!" 

"And  the  card  itself  is  of  very  fine  quality,  though  not  pretentious." 
I  held  it  up  against  the  window.  "Imported  paper,  I  see.  Italian." 

"Excellent!" 

"But  how  do  you  know  he  has  lived  in  England  for  some  time?" 

"That  is  most  elementary  of  all.  The  gentleman  has  purchased  or 
rented  a  country  place,  possibly  an  abandoned  English  home,  for 
'Norcross  Towers'  is  certainly  the  name  of  a  country  house." 

"But  his  age!"  I  protested.  "How  can  you  know  the  man's  age 
merely  by  glancing  at  his  calling  card?" 

"That  is  really  absurdly  simple,  Parker.  In  the  States  it  is  con- 
sidered fashionable  even  today  to  name  children  after  the  president 
in  office  at  the  time  of  the  child's  birth;  doubtless  the  American 
tendency  to  hero  worship  plays  its  part  in  that,  too.  Harrison  was 
president  from  1889  to  1893;  hence  it  follows  that  our  man  was  born 
in  one  of  the  four  years  of  Harrison's  term.  The  age  is  more  likely 
to  be  thirty-nine  years,  because  the  tendency  to  name  children  in 
such  fashion  is  strongest  during  the  inaugural  period." 

I  threw  up  my  hands.  "The  contest  is  yours!" 

Pons  smiled.  "Well,  here  it  is  three  o'clock,  and  I  should  not  be 
surprised  if  our  client  is  at  the  door." 
As  he  spoke,  there  was  a  steady  ring  at  the  doorbell  and,  after  the 


264  THE    ADVENTURE    OF    THE    NORCROSS    RIDDLE 

usual  preliminary  of  shuffling  feet  on  the  stairs,  Mrs.  Johnson  finally 
ushered  into  our  rooms  a  youngish,  black-haired  man,  whose  smooth- 
shaven  face  was  partly  concealed  by  large,  horn-rimmed  glasses  with 
dark  panes.  He  was  clothed  in  the  best  fashion,  and  as  he  stood  before 
us,  leaning  on  his  stick,  he  held  in  his  hand  a  motoring  cap,  indicating 
that  he  had  come  some  distance  —  possibly  from  his  country  place. 

Our  visitor  looked  from  one  to  the  other  of  us,  but,  before  Mrs. 
Johnson  had  closed  the  door  behind  her,  he  had  fixed  his  gaze  on 
Pons,  and  it  was  to  him  he  now  addressed  himself. 

"You  are  Mr.  Solar  Pons?"  he  asked  in  a  low,  well-modulated 

voice. 

Pons  nodded.  "Please  be  seated,  Mr.  Manton." 

"Thank  you."  With  simple  dignity  our  visitor  seated  himself  and 
immediately  threw  a  dubious  glance  in  my  direction. 

"My  assistant,  Dr.  Parker,"  said  Pons.  "Anything  you  say  is  emi- 
nently safe  with  him." 

Manton  nodded  to  me  and  gave  his  attention  again  to  Pons.  "The 
matter  about  which  I  have  come  to  consult  you  is  one  of  disturbing 
mystery.  I  don't  know  that  anything  criminal  is  at  its  root,  and  I 
cannot  afford  to  have  any  word  of  it  leak  out." 

"You  have  our  confidence,"  Pons  assured  him. 

Manton  nodded  abstractedly,  and  for  a  few  moments  he  was 
silent,  as  if  trying  to  decide  where  to  begin.  Finally,  however,  he 
looked  up  frankly,  and  began  to  speak.  "The  matter  concerns  my 
country  estate,  Norcross  Towers,  which  fell  into  my  hands  a  little 
over  six  months  ago.  I  might  say  that  it  was  purchased  to  please  my 
wife,  who  had  lived  there  before  I  married  her,  and  is  again  mistress 
of  her  old  home.  I  have  been  very  fortunate  in  business,  and  I  am 
able  to  keep  both  town  and  country  houses;  but  since  I  am  usually 
kept  in  the  city,  I  don't  often  have  time  to  join  my  wife  at  Norcross 

Towers. 

"However,  a  month  ago  I  drove  to  the  Towers  for  a  short  vacation. 
Though  the  estate  had  been  in  my  possession  for  some  months,  I 
had  not  yet  had  time  to  go  over  it  thoroughly,  and  this  I  now  set 
about  to  do.  One  of  the  first  places  to  attract  my  attenion  was  the 
fens,  which  had  claimed  the  life  of  my  wife's  first  husband." 

Pons,  who  had  been  sitting  with  closed  eyes,  looked  suddenly  at 
our  visitor.  "Are  the  fens  on  your  estate  called  'Mac's  Fens'?" 


THE    ADVENTURE    OF    THE    NORCROSS    RIDDLE  265 

Manton  nodded.  "They  were  named  after  my  wife's  first  husband 
—  by  the  natives  in  that  country." 

"Then  your  wife  was  Lady  McFallon." 

"I  married  her  six  months  after  her  husband's  tragic  death." 
"Scott  McFallon  was  the  man  who  with  one  servant  and  his  hounds 
set  off  across  the  fens  near  his  home  and  sank  in  a  bog.  His  servant, 
I  understand,  pointed  out  the  exact  spot  where  he  went  down." 
Manton  nodded  again.  "Yes,  that  is  quite  right." 
"Go  on  with  your  story,  Mr.  Manton." 

"The  fens,"  Manton  resumed,  "are  quite  large  and,  in  common 
with  most  fens,  almost  entirely  marshland,  with  a  few  scattered 
patches  of  firm  ground.  On  this  considerable  tract  of  land  stand  the 
ruins  of  a  very  old  building  at  one  time  used  as  an  abbey.  It  is  of 
stone,  and  one  wing  of  the  place  has  a  kind  of  intactness.  I  had  taken 
it  into  my  head  to  examine  this  ruin,  and  I  started  out  alone  for  it 
one  afternoon  in  my  car;  I  had  had  a  road  built  to  wind  through  the 
fens  to  the  village  of  Acton,  to  reach  which  previously  it  had  always 
been  necessary  to  make  a  wide  detour.  The  new  road  was  open  to 
the  public,  of  course. 

"As  I  drove  toward  the  ruin,  it  occurred  to  me  that  I  had  forgotten 
to  instruct  my  secretary  about  a  business  matter  of  some  importance; 
so  I  decided  to  drive  straight  on  to  Acton  and  wire  him,  examining 
the  ruin  on  my  return.  But  dusk  had  already  fallen  when  I  returned, 
and  I  had  no  intention  of  prowling  about  the  building  with  a  flash- 
light. Just  as  I  was  approaching  my  home,  a  car  came  speeding  past 
me,  going  in  the  direction  of  Acton.  I  thought  nothing  of  it  then, 
for'  it  was  possible  that  someone  was  taking  this  convenient  short 
cut  to  the  village,  though  it  is  not  often  used." 
"You  made  a  note  of  the  car?" 

"Not  definitely.  It  was  a  large  touring  car  —  a  Daimler,  I  thought; 
but  I  could  not  be  sure.  However,  I  did  see  three  people  in  the  car, 
for  I  noticed  this  especially  because  one  of  them  seemed  to  be  ill." 
"What  gave  you  that  impression?" 

"He  was  sitting  in  the  rear  seat  with  a  companion,  and  was  almost 
completely  covered  with  rugs  and  coats.  As  I  flashed  by,  it  seemed 
to  me  that  his  companion  was  trying  to  soothe  him." 
Pons  nodded,  and  indicated  that  Manton  was  to  continue. 
"I  speedily  forgot  this  incident,  and  went  into  the  house  for  dinner. 


266  THE    ADVENTURE    OF    THE    NORCROSS    RIDDLE 

Throughout  the  meal,  I  observed  that  my  wife  ate  very  little,  and  I 
became  alarmed  at  the  thought  that  something  troubled  her.  I  had 
noticed  something  like  this  before  —  a  certain  uneasiness  and  nerv- 
ousness —  but  had  put  it  down  to  some  passing  physical  disorder.  I 
could  now  see,  however,  that  she  was  deliberately  trying  to  appear 
normal,  and  eat  dinner  as  if  she  were  perfectly  herself.  This  is  un- 
usual for  my  wife;  she  is  a  remarkably  straightforward  woman,  and 
illness  in  the  past  has  always  caused  her  to  refrain  from  taking  heavy 
meals.  I  asked  her  whether  she  felt  ill,  and  whether  I  could  do  any- 
thing, but  she  denied  that  she  was  ill,  and  only  redoubled  her  efforts 
to  appear  at  her  ease. 

"I  tried  to  forget  this  incident,  and  retired  to  my  study,  where  my 
wife  shortly  followed  me.  Now,  Mr.  Pons,  my  study  overlooks  the 
moor,  and  is  in  a  direct  line  with  the  ruins.  I  was  sitting  directly 
opposite  a  low  window  facing  the  ruin  when  I  closed  my  book  at 
about  ten  o'clock.  Judge  my  surprise,  gentlemen,  to  see  in  this  ruin 
two  lights,  one  of  which  was  put  out  even  as  I  looked.  Presently  the 
other  began  to  move,  going  from  one  room  to  another,  according  to 
its  appearance,  among  those  which  were  left  intact  in  the  wing  still 
standing.  Then  it,  too,  was  put  out. 

"My  wife,  meanwhile,  had  caught  my  look,  and  since  she  sat  op- 
posite me  and  could  not  see  the  lights,  she  asked  what  I  saw.  'There's 
someone  in  the  ruin,'  I  said. 

"I  caught  an  exclamation  from  her,  and  then  in  some  confusion 
she  said,  'Oh,  I  forgot  to  tell  you,  but  I  rented  the  ruin  for  two 
months.' 

"I  was  astonished,  but  I  recovered  quickly  enough,  and  asked  to 
whom  she  had  rented  it.  There  was  quite  a  pause  before  she  replied, 
with  some  apprehension,  that  she  had  rented  it  to  a  professor  of 
psychiatry  who  had  brought  a  lunatic  and  his  keeper  out  there  for 
the  purpose  of  isolated  observation  of  his  patient.  Though  I  had 
been  somewhat  upset  at  first,  I  now  recalled  the  car  which  had 
passed  me  on  my  homeward  way  that  evening,  and  I  assumed  at 
once  that  the  sick  man  was  none  other  than  the  psychiatrist's  patient. 
I  could  not  forbear  suggesting  to  my  wife  that  she  might  first  have 
consulted  me,  whereupon  she  seemed  hurt  and  said  that  we  could 
put  them  out.  Of  course,  I  would  not  hear  of  it. 
"  Td  like  to  have  a  talk  with  the  professor,  though,'  I  said. 


THE    ADVENTURE    OF    THE    NORCROSS    RIDDLE  267 

"  'I  wouldn't  disturb  them,  Benjamin,'  she  answered. 
"  'Oh,  I  don't  suppose  there's  any  harm  in  going  out  there.  After 
all,  it's  our  property  and  they're  our  tenants  temporarily.' 

'"But  there's  no  need  to  disturb  them,  Benjamin,'  my  wife  in- 
sisted. 

"I  could  not  help  feeling  that  for  some  reason  unknown  t 
wife  did  not  want  me  to  go  to  the  ruin,  but  as  I  said  no  more,  the 
matter  was  closed  for  the  time  being.  Shortly  afterward,  I  went  to 
bed.  My  wife  usually  stays  up  quite  late,  reading  and  embroidering, 
and  I  thought  nothing  of  her  staying  up  that  night. 

"Sometime  during  the  night,  I  was  awakened  by  the  sound 
tapping  on  glass  somewhere  about  the  house.  I  am  a  very  light 
sleeper,  and  I  sat  up  in  bed  to  listen.  I  heard  a  window  open  down- 
stairs. I  looked  at  my  watch;  it  was  a  quarter  of  twelve.  Then  I  re- 
membered that  in  all  probability  my  wife  was  still  in  the  study.  1 
called  down  to  her  from  my  doorway,  and  Anna  answered  at  once. 
Reassured,  I  returned  to  bed. 

"Next  day,  my  wife  asked  for  a  thousand  pounds.  L  hough  it 
means  little  to  me  as  money,  this  sum  rather  staggered  me,  and  I 
was  naturally  curious  to  know  what  Anna  wanted  with  so  large  a 
check.  She  evaded  all  my  questions  with  banter,  but  I  believed 
would  most  likely  learn  to  whom  Anna  signed  over  the  check;  so  I 
gave  it  to  her.  When  the  check  came  back  a  month  later,  I  discovered 
that  Anna  had  cashed  it  at  my  bank,  and  that  in  consequence  I  knew 
nothing  of  where  the  money  might  have  gone. 

"Last  night  another  chapter  in  this  curious  puzzle  took  place.  As 
before,  I  was  awakened  close  to  midnight  by  the  sound  of  tapping 
on  a  window,  but  this  time  I  slipped  from  the  room  into  the  hall 
just  after  the  window  was  opened.  I  went  down  the  stairs  as  the 
window  was  closed  again.  Below  me,  I  could  see  my  wife's  shadow, 
cast  by  the  lamplight  in  the  room,  and  distorted  by  the  firelight  from 
the  hearth.  To  me  it  seemed  that  she  was  reading  something,  but  my 
thoughts  were  interrupted  by  a  low  moan  from  her.  At  the  same  in- 
stant I  saw  her  fall  to  the  floor.  She  fell  toward  the  fireplace,  and  I 
ran  to  her  assistance. 

"She  had  fainted.  As  I  bent  forward,  I  caught  sight  of  what  she 
had  been  reading;  it  had  fallen  from  her  hand  into  the  fire,  and  was 
now  almost  entirely  consumed.  Nevertheless,  I  snatched  it,  put  out 


268  THE    ADVENTURE    OF    THE    NORCROSS    RIDDLE 

the  fire  with  my  hands,  and  on  the  corner  of  paper  as  yet  untouched 
by  the  flames,  I  read:  five  thousand  pounds  at  once  .  .  .  what  will 
happen  /'/...  —  disconnected  certainly,  but  enough  to  assure  me 
that  my  wife  was  an  unwilling  party  to  some  conspiracy.  I  thought 
immediately  of  the  thousand  pounds  of  the  previous  month,  and  of 
the  ruin  on  the  fens,  which  I  feel  instinctively  is  connected  with  the 
mystery  in  some  fashion.  The  inhabitants  of  the  ruin  have  never  been 
seen;  by  day  there  is  no  sign  of  life  about  the  place. 

"My  wife,  meanwhile,  was  coming  around,  and  as  she  regained 
consciousness,  she  looked  toward  the  fireplace;  this  made  me  de- 
termine to  say  nothing  about  the  note,  for  I  felt  that  if  she  wanted 
me  to  know  about  it,  she  would  speak.  She  did  not.  I  could  think 
only  that  some  diabolical  circumstances  were  keeping  her  from  con- 
fiding in  me.  There  can  be  no  question  of  doubtful  conduct  on  her 
part;  I  know  that  as  only  a  husband  can  know  that.  I  have  had 
countless  proofs  of  her  devotion  to  me,  and  I  hope  I  have  given  her 
all  reason  to  feel  that  I  love  her  fully  as  much. 

"This  morning,  Mr.  Pons,  my  wife  asked  for  five  thousand  pounds. 
I  quibbled  a  little,  but  in  the  end  I  handed  over  the  money.  Then  I 
came  directly  to  the  city  and  poured  out  my  story  to  Lord  Crichton, 
who  advised  me  to  come  to  you  as  a  man  of  the  utmost  discretion. 
I  left  my  card  on  my  first  visit.  Now  that  you  have  heard  my  story, 
perhaps  you  could  come  to  visit  us  —  say  as  friends  of  mine  in  the 
trade  —  and  see  what  you  can  make  of  the  matter  at  close  range." 

Manton  leaned  back  and  watched  Pons. 

"The  matter  certainly  has  points  of  interest,"  mused  Pons.  "I  see 
no  reason  to  forego  it." 

"Can  you  come  with  me  at  once?" 

"I  believe  we  can.  But  first,  a  few  questions." 

"Go  right  ahead,  Mr.  Pons." 

"I  am  under  the  impression  that  before  her  first  marriage,  your 
wife  was  the  young  social  leader,  Anna  Renfield.  Has  it  occurred  to 
you  that  she  is  being  blackmailed  for  some  past  error?" 

"It  has,"  replied  Manton  gravely.  "But  unless  I  have  been  grossly 
deceived,  Anna  was  held  up  as  an  example  of  all  that  is  best  in  a 
young  lady." 

Pons  nodded,  and  appeared  to  reflect  for  a  moment.  "You  say  you 
married  Lady  McFallon  six  months  after  the  tragic  death  of  her 


THE    ADVENTURE    OF    THE    NORCROSS    RIDDLE  269 

lusband.  Were  you  aware  of  the  financial  condition  of  the  late  Scott 

VIcFallon  ?" 

Our  visitor  nodded.  "When  I  came  to  England  seven  years  ago, 
and  came  to  know  the  lady  who  is  now  my  wife  I  learned  that  1 
husband's  affairs  were  in  a  bad  way,  and  that  it  had  become  neces- 
sary  to  sell  Norcross  Towers." 

"You  were  not  then  aware  that  other  factors  entered  into  McFal- 
lon's  weak  financial  condition  at  the  time  of  his  death? 

"Such  as  what?"  asked  Manton  bluntly. 

"His  lack  of  honesty  with  friends  and  patrons  to  the  extent  ot 
causing  many  of  them  to  lose  ^heavily  because  of  certain  ill-advis 
—  if  not  criminal  —  activities  ?" 

Manton  shook  his  head.  "I  knew  nothing  of  it. 

"Perhaps  it  has  so  happened  that  some  group  of  persons  has  di 
covered  or  manufactured  evidence  to  show  complicity  between  Me 
Fallon  and  his  wife,  and  perhaps  this  is  the  nature  of  the  blackmailing 

attempts."  ,. 

Manton  sprang  from  his  chair  in  extreme  agitation  I  cant  con- 
S1der  such  a  suggestion,  Mr.  Pons,"  he  said  sharply.  I  canno  for 
a  moment  believe  that  Anna  was  in  any  way  a  party  to  McFallon  s 
schemes.  If  you  come  to  Norcross  Towers  with  that  idea,  Mr. 
Pons-"  He  shook  his  head  violently.  "No,  it's  better  to  drop  the 
matter  at  once.  Anna's  past  is  spotless;  if  McFallon  was  guilty  of 
dishonest  or  criminal  acts,  then  she  knew  nothing  of  it,  b 

You  cannot  think  it." 

"You  forget  that  I  am  only  suggesting  possibilities,  and  it  s  en- 
tirely possible  that  forged  evidence  would  cause  her  to  fa  1  a  ready 
victim;  fearing  that  connection  with  scandal,  however  ill-found 
might  reflect  upon  your  name  or  your  business." 

Manton  looked  down  at  Pons,  a  light  breaking  over  his  features. 
"Mr  Pons,  I  believe  you  have  hit  it!"  he  exclaimed.  "That  must  be 
the  reason  she  didn't  want  to  tell  me -for  fear  of  injuring  my  posi- 
tion -  for  she  knew  nothing  could  ever  come  between  us. 

"I  am  not  at  all  sure  that  my  supposition  is  correct,"  objected 
"I  merely  consider  possibilities.  There  are  more  to  examine 

Pons  reached  for  the  telephone  and  called  Scotland  Yard.  I  heard 
an  answering  voice  which,  from  my  place  close  to  Pons,  I  recognize 
as  Inspector  Jamison's.  Pons  asked  for  information  concerning  S 


270  THE    ADVENTURE    OF    THE    NORCROSS    RIDDLE 

McFallon,  and  we  sat  in  silence  while  Pons  waited  until  Jamison  had 
given  him  the  data  he  wanted. 

He  turned  from  the  instrument  smiling  cryptically.  "Apparently 
death  was  an  escape  for  McFallon.  The  day  before  the  bog  claimed 
him,  an  order  for  his  arrest  was  signed.  He  would  be  in  prison  today 
if  he  had  come  alive  from  the  fens." 

"Good  God  Mr.  Pons!"  exclaimed  Manton.  "My  wife  must  never 
know  that  —  she  can't  have  suspected  anything  bad  of  McFallon." 

Pons  nodded  and  rose  to  dress  for  the  long  ride  before  us. 

Norcross  Towers  was  a  large  rambling  structure,  a  typical  English 
country  house,  not  far  from  the  highroad,  which  connected  with  the 
road  Manton  had  had  constructed  across  the  fens  to  Acton.  The  two- 
story  building  was  surmounted  at  the  rear  by  twin  turret-like  towers, 
from  which  the  estate  no  doubt  derived  its  name.  The  house  was  of 
old  gray  stone,  made  extremely  attractive  by  great  masses  of  ivy  that 
flung  its  vines  far  up  along  the  old  walls.  As  we  came  up  the  flagstone 
walk  toward  the  house,  I  noticed  that  all  the  windows  within  range 
were  set  very  low,  close  to  the  ground. 

Mrs.  Manton  was  the  type  of  woman  most  often  described  as  ash- 
blond.  Her  features  were  thin,  well-formed,  and  her  body  was  very 
lithe.  She  had  lost  neither  the  dignity  of  bearing  nor  the  singular 
beauty  which  had  helped  to  make  her  a  social  leader  before  her 
marriage.  We  met  the  lady  in  Manton's  study,  where  we  were  intro- 
duced under  our  own  names  as  brokers,  for  Pons  considered  it  un- 
likely that  Mrs.  Manton  would  recognize  either  of  us. 

It  was  dusk  when  we  arrived  at  Norcross  Towers,  and  the  first 
duty  before  us  was  dinner,  over  which  we  spent  an  hour,  chatting 
about  stocks  and  bonds,  a  subject  about  which  Pons  knew  much  more 
than  I  had  given  him  credit  for,  and,  for  the  benefit  of  the  lady,  the 
news  of  the  day.  However,  Pons  and  I  excused  ourselves  imme- 
diately after  dinner  and  retired  to  our  room  on  the  first  floor,  where 
Pons  had  insisted  it  be,  for  he  planned  on  some  nocturnal  recon- 
noitering,  and  had  no  wish  to  be  forced  to  descend  the  stairs  each 
time  he  wanted  to  prowl  about. 

In  our  rooms,  Pons  gave  a  sigh  of  relief.  He  changed  into  an  old 
hunting  outfit,  complete  with  a  rifle,  and  stepped  out  of  the  low 
window  to  the  adjoining  terrace.  I  watched  him  make  his  way  over 


THE    ADVENTURE    OF    THE    NORCROSS    RIDDLE  27! 

the  lawns  to  the  road  leading  across  the  fens,  and  saw  him  at  last 
trudging  away  down  the  road.  I  settled  myself  to  read  and  awaii 

his  return. 

But  it  was  after  midnight  when  Pons  came  back,  and  I  was  dozing 
in  my  chair,  book  in  my  lap,  when  he  slipped  into  the  room.  I  awok< 
with  a  start  to  see  him  standing  before  me,  removing  his  hunting 
jacket,  and  regarding  me  with  a  tolerant  smile. 
"You  examined  the  ruin,  I  suppose?"  I  guessed. 
Pons  nodded.  "There's  certainly  some  kind  of  patient  there, 
fellow  is  in  an  improvised  bed,  and  if  I'm  not  mistaken,  he  won't 
last  long;  he  is  quite  wasted  by  disease.  He  looks  sixty,  but  cannot 
be  much  over  forty." 
"And  his  keeper?" 

"A  burly  fellow,  but  never  a  country  man.  I  daresay  I  should  not 
be  wrong  in  asserting  that  he  is  not  unfamiliar  with  Limehouse  or 
Wapping.  The  patient's  doctor  is  there,  too  —  a  great  hulk  of  a  man, 
who  shows  some  traces  of  culture.  He  is  well-dressed,  wears  pince- 
nez  on  a  gold  chain,  and  has  fascinating  -  that  is  to  say,  hypnotic  - 
eyes  There  is  nothing  definite  to  be  said  about  him,  save  that  under 
pressure,  he  might  well  become  a  very  ugly  customer.  I  should  not 
like  to  cultivate  his  acquaintance. 

"All  in  all,  it  has  the  appearance  of  what  it  is  meant  to  be:  a  case 
of  experimentation  on  the  health,  mental  and/or  physical,  of  the 
patient,  though  he  seemed  to  protest  his  imprisonment.  Unfortu- 
nately, I  could  hear  nothing  of  the  conversation,  for  the  room  was 
tightly  shut  —  they  are  occupying  but  one  room,  incidentally  —  and 
the  three  spoke  in  low  voices.  It's  entirely  possible  that  we  may.  be 
assuming  too  much  in  suggesting  a  connection  between  the  trio  and 
the  unknown  blackmailers,  but  there  is  something  very  suspicious 
about  them.  I  have  the  feeling  I  have  seen  the  three  before,  but  I'm 
hanged  if  I  can  place  them  at  the  moment." 

"They  must  be  in  it,"  I  put  in.  "I  see  no  reason  for  this  kind  of 
treatment  of  a  patient,  lunatic  or  not.  The  man  is  exposed  to  con- 
sumption in  this  atmosphere;  it  is  perfectly  ridiculous." 

"Consumption!"  exclaimed  Pons.  "Yes,  the  patient  out  there  strikes 
me  as  a  consumptive;  if  he  is,  then  his  doctor  is  no  more  a  physician 
than  I  am,  and  the  patient's  presence  there  is  vitally  necessary  to  the 
blackmail  plot.  It  may  be  that  the  patient  is  the  directing  genius, 


272  THE    ADVENTURE    OF    THE    NORCROSS    RIDDLE 

but  that  is  unlikely,  for  he  would  not  endanger  his  life  by  staying 
out  there."  He  shrugged.  "Ah,  well,  let  us  just  sleep  on  it." 

The  next  day  Pons  drew  Manton  aside.  "Do  you  think  it  possible 
for  me  to  have  a  few  words  with  the  servant  who  accompanied  Mc- 
Fallon  on  the  day  of  his  death?" 

"Why,  the  fellow  has  been  dead  for  years.  He  had  a  stroke  two 
days  after  his  master  was  drawn  under  by  the  mire  out  there,"  said 
Manton. 

For  a  moment  Pons  stood  as  if  petrified,  his  eyes  fixed  on  our 
host  in  open  astonishment,  his  pipe  hung  loosely  from  his  mouth. 
Then  he  clapped  his  hand  to  his  head  and  exclaimed,  "What  a  fool 
I  have  been!" 

Without  a  further  word,  he  astounded  Manton  and  me  by  step- 
ping from  the  study  window  and  vanishing  into  the  mists  of  early 
evening  in  the  direction  of  the  ruin  on  the  fens. 

"Do  you  think  he  has  discovered  something?"  asked  Manton 
guardedly. 

"Unless  I'm  greatly  mistaken,  he  has.  Pons  displays  every  sign  of 
being  off  on  a  strong  and  perhaps  conclusive  trail!" 

Pons's  face  on  his  return  was  jubilant.  His  easy  grace  had  returned, 
and  his  attentions  were  all  for  Mrs.  Manton.  He  managed  to  seat 
himself  next  to  her  at  the  table  that  night,  and  he  chatted  with  her 
amiably  throughout  the  meal.  It  was  as  she  was  rising  to  retire  that 
Pons  bent  to  assist  her,  and  muttered  into  her  ear  five  words,  which, 
however  lightly  they  were  said,  I  managed  to  overhear. 

"He  died  tonight  of  consumption." 

I  think  Mrs.  Manton  would  have  fallen,  had  not  Pons  been  at  her 
side.  Manton,  however,  noticed  nothing;  for  her  recovery  was  instant, 
and  there  now  passed  between  our  hostess  and  Pons  a  glance  of 
understanding  which  had  our  host  as  its  object. 

Some  time  after  Mrs.  Manton  had  left  us,  Pons  turned  to  Manton 
and  said  quietly,  "I  think  your  charming  wife  will  no  longer  be 
bothered  by  the  rascals  out  there  on  the  fens." 

"You've  cleared  up  the  matter,  then?"  asked  Manton  eagerly. 

"I  have." 

"In  heaven's  name,  what  could  they  have  held  over  Anna?" 

"Forgery,  my  dear  sir.  And  what  an  elaborate  forgery!" 

"Poor  Anna!" 


THE    ADVENTURE    OF    THE    NORCROSS    RIDDLE 

"But  they  will  be  well  on  their  way  to  the  coast  by  now,"  continued 
°n!"  cried  Manton,  springing  to  his  feet.  "You  didn't  let  them 


nff  ?" 

"In  the  circumstances,  I  thought  it  best,"  said  Pons  calmly.  "The 
rascals  would  be  certain  to  drag  up  the  scandal  of  McFaUon  s  ques- 
tionable activities,  with  which  they  are  thoroughly  farm: 
Manton  nodded  glumly. 

"But  sit  down,  my  dear  sir,  and  let  me  tell  you  the  clever  story 
the  fellows  had  forged  to  deceive  your  wife." 
Manton  sat  down  expectantly. 

"Two  blackmailers,  familiar  with  McFallon's  history,  met  a  young 
man  whose  resemblance  to  your  wife's  first  husband  was  very  re- 
markable. These  two  persuaded  this  third  man  to  fall  in  with  their 
plan  and  impersonate  McFallon  in  order  to  blackmail  the  present 
Mrs.  Manton.  Their  plan  was  this:  they  were  to  go  to  Mrs.  Manton 
with  the  clever  story  that  her  first  husband  had  not  been  lost  in  the 
bos  but  had  fled  to  the  continent  to  escape  the  consequences  of  his 
stock  juggling  -'certain  unpleasant  circumstances,'  they  told  your 
wife.  Now  these  fellows  were  supposed  to  have  encountered  Mc- 
Fallon on  the  Continent,  persuaded  him  to  return  to  England  with 
them  some  time  ago,  and  forced  him  to  reveal  his  presence  to  his 
wife  through  his  writing,  carefully  copied  from  the  real  McFallon  s. 
Then  the  blackmailing  was  to  begin,  to  rise  from  small  sums  t 
larger  and  ever  larger  sums,  forcing  the  lady  to  give  and  give  under 
fear  of  the  exposure  of  her  first  husband's  presence  here  on  the 
and  the  scandal  of  a  bigamous  marriage. 

"How  long  this  might  have  kept  up,  it  is  difficult  to  say;  for  all 
went  well  for  them  at  the  beginning  over  a  month  ago.  Your  wite 
believed  their  fantastic  story,  and  fell  prey  to  them.  Unfortunately 
for  the  villains,  the  fellow  they  had  chosen  to  play  the  part  of  Mc- 
Fallon was  a  consumptive.  The  damp  air  of  the  fens  brought  about 
a  quick  collapse  in  his  constitution,  and  only  tonight  he  died  and 
was  buried  in  the  bog.  The  rascals  are  gone,  and  my  advice  to  you 
Mr.  Manton,  is  to  say  no  word  of  the  affair  to  your  wife.  She  will 
soon  know  that  her  trouble  is  over,  and  she  will  feel  better  if  you 
know  nothing  of  it."  He  sighed.  "And  now  let  us  get  to  bed,  for  ] 
should  like  to  be  in  London  early  tomorrow." 


274  THE    ADVENTURE    OF    THE    NORCROSS    RIDDLE 

"What  a  curious  tale,"  I  said,  when  we  were  once  more  alone  in 
our  room,  "and  yet,  in  a  way,  very  clever.  The  idea  of  having  Mc- 
Fallon  vanish  with  the  servant  as  accomplice  is  perfectly  logical  in 
the  circumstances  of  McFallon's  imminent  arrest;  his  supposed  stay 
on  the  Continent  and  his  meeting  with  those  rascals  when  he  could 
no  longer  return  to  England  because  his  wife  had  remarried  after 
the  unexpected  death  of  his  accomplice  prohibited  her  from  knowing 
the  true  state  of  affairs;  those  fellows  forcing  him  to  aid  them,  for 
he  was  noble  enough  to  keep  away  all  these  years  and  now  fell  victim 
to  them  —  why,  every  step  is  perfectly  logical!"  I  exclaimed  in  ad- 
miration. 

I  stopped  suddenly  and  looked  at  Pons,  whose  face  looked  gray 
and  gaunt  in  the  dimmed  light  of  the  room.  "Why,  Pons!"  I  cried. 
"It  was  true!" 

"Every  word  of  it!"  Pons  nodded.  "Except  that  McFallon  killed 
himself  rather  than  be  instrumental  in  his  wife's  suffering.  He  rests 
now  in  the  bog,  and  no  one  will  ever  know  he  has  not  been  there 
all  these  years!" 

"Good  God!  And  you  let  those  scoundrels  get  away?" 

Pons  turned  his  inscrutable  eyes  on  me.  "I  had  all  I  could  do  to 
keep  my  hands  from  their  throats  —  but  there  are  better  ways  of 
handling  these  matters.  I  sent  a  wire  to  Jamison  before  lunch;  they'll 
be  taken  at  Dover." 


Detective:  SHERLOCK  HOLMES  Narrator:  WATSON 

THE   MARY   QUEEN   OF   SCOTS 

JEWEL 

by  WILLIAM  O,  FULLER 


You  probably  have  never  heard  of  the  late  William  0.  Fuller. 
Would  you  like  to  {now  the  kind  of  man  he  was?  Well, 
Thomas  Bailey  Aldrich  once  said  that  he  was  the  nearest  ap- 
proach to  Charles  Lamb  of  all  the  writers  Mr.  Aldrich  came 
to  know.  That  gives  you  an  inkling,  but  the  picture  broadens 
when  you  learn  further  that  men  li\e  Mar\  Twain,  Edward 
Bof(,  and  Henry  van  Dyke  were  his  friends.  They  came  to  visit 
him  in  his  famous  treasure-house  of  a  study-  "The  Brown 
Study,"  as  it  was  known  to  his  intimates. 

It  was  in  "The  Brown  Study"  that  Mr.  Fuller,  newspaper- 
man, lecturer,  and  eminent  after-dinner  speaker,  wrote  uThe 
Mary  Queen  of  Scots  Jewel"  —  a  sensitive  and  sincere  pastiche 
of  the  Sacred  Conan,  with  a  closing  speech  by  Sherlock,  Holmes 
that  mattes  us  love  him  all  the  more.  This  hitherto  unchronicled 
adventure  is  made  available  to  the  general  public  through  the 
gracious  permission  of  Mrs.  Kathleen  S.  Fuller,  the  author's 
wife.  Previously  it  appeared  only  as  a  private  edition,  limited 
to  200  copies,  printed  in  7929  by  The  Riverside  Press  of  Cam- 
bridge, Massachusetts,  under  the  title  A  NIGHT  WITH  SHERLOCK 

HOLMES. 


I 


T  WAS  one  of  those  misty,  rainy  mornings  in  early  summer  when 

the  streets  of  London  contrive  to  render  themselves  particularly  dis- 
agreeable, the  pavements  greasy  with  mud  and  the  very  buildings 
presenting  their  gloomy  facades  wreathed  in  a  double  melancholy. 
Returning  from  a  professional  call  and  finding  Baker  Street  in  my 
way,  I  had  dropped  in  on  my  friend  Sherlock  Holmes,  whom  I 


276  THE    MARY    QUEEN    OF    SCOTS   JEWEL 

found  amid  the  delightful  disorder  of  his  room,  his  chair  drawn  up 
to  a  fire  of  coals  and  himself  stretched  abroad  in  it,  pulling  at  his 
favorite  pipe. 

"Glad  to  see  you,  Watson,"  he  called  heartily.  "Sit  down  here, 
light  a  cigar  and  cheer  me  up.  This  infernal  wet  spell  has  got  on  my 
nerves.  You're  just  the  company  I  require." 

I  helped  myself  to  a  cigar,  put  a  chair  to  one  side  of  the  grate  and 
waited  for  Holmes  to  talk,  for  I  understood  that  in  this  frame  of  mind 
he  had  first  to  relieve  himself  of  its  irritability  before  a  naturally 
pleasant  mood  could  assert  itself. 

"Do  you  know,  Watson,"  he  began,  after  some  moments  of  silent 
smoking,  "I  don't  at  all  like  your  treatment  of  my  latest  adventure. 
I  told  you  at  the  time  that  the  part  played  by  that  country  detective 
threw  my  methods  into  a  comparison  with  his  such  as  tends  to  over- 
rate my  abilities." 

Holmes's  querulous  allusion  to  the  now  famous  Amber  Necklace 
Case,  to  my  mind  one  of  his  most  brilliant  exploits,  I  could  afford  to 
let  pass  in  silence,  and  did  so. 

"Not,"  he  added,  with  a  suggestion  of  the  apologetic  in  his  voice, 
"not  that,  on  the  whole,  you  let  your  pen  of  a  ready  chronicler  carry 
you  too  pliantly  into  the  realm  of  romance  —  but  you  must  be  care- 
ful, Watson,  not  to  ascribe  to  me  the  supernatural.  You  know  your- 
self how  ordinary  my  science  is  when  the  paths  of  its  conclusions  are 
traced  after  me.  As,  for  instance,  the  fact  that  I  am  about  to  have  a 
caller  —  how  I  know  this  may  for  a  moment  appear  a  mystery  to  you, 
but  in  the  sequel  most  commonplace." 

There  came  on  the  instant  a  rap  at  the  street  door,  and  to  my  sur- 
prised look  of  inquiry  Holmes  replied,  with  a  laugh : 

"My  dear  Watson,  it  is  kindergarten.  You  failed  to  hear,  as  I  did 
an  instant  ago  —  for  you  were  listening  to  my  morose  maunderings 
—  the  faint  tooting  of  the  horn  of  a  motorcar,  which  it  was  easy  to 
perceive  was  about  turning  the  upper  corner  of  our  street;  nor  did 
you  observe,  as  I  was  able  to  do,  that  in  the  proper  space  of  time  the 
unmistakable  silence  caused  by  the  stopping  of  a  motor  engine  was 
apparent  under  my  window.  I  am  persuaded,  Watson,  that  a  look 
out  of  that  window  will  plainly  disclose  a  car  standing  by  my  curb- 


stone." 


I  followed  him  across  the  room  and  peered  over  his  shoulder  as 


THE    MARY    QUEEN    6F    SCOTS   JEWEL 

he  put  back  the  curtains.  Sure  enough,  a  motorcar  had  drawn  up 
to  the  curb.  Under  its  canopy  top  we  perceived  two  gentlemen  seated 
in  the  tonneau.  The  chauffeur  stood  at  the  street  door,  evidently 
waiting.  At  this  moment  Holmes's  housekeeper,  after  a  warning  rap 
walked  into  the  room,  bearing  two  cards  on  a  tray,  which  she  pa 

to  Holmes.  „ ,        .  , 

"MR  WILLIAM  S.  RICHARDSON  -  MR.  WILLIAM  O.  FULLER,  he  said, 
reading  the  cards  aloud.  "H'm.  Evidently  our  friend  the  Conqueror 
has  many  admirers  in  America.  You  may  ask  the  gentlemen  to  walk 
upstairs,  Mrs.  Hudson,"  he  added. 

"How  do  you  know  your  callers  are  from  America?      .  was  t 
ginning,  when  following  a  knock  at  the  door,  and  Holmes's  brisk 
"Come  in!"  two  gentlemen  entered,  stopped  near  the  threshold  and 
bowed    They  were  garbed  in  raincoats;  one,  of  medium  height, 
smooth-shaven,  resembling  in  features  the  actor  Irving;  the  other, 
of  smaller  stature,  distinguished  by  a  pair  of  Mr.  Pickwick  spectacles. 
"Pray  come  in,  gentlemen,"  said  Sherlock  Holmes,  with  the  cour- 
tesy of  manner  that  so  well  becomes  him.  "Throw  off  your  raincoats, 
take  a  cigar,  sit  here  in  these  chairs  by  the  fire,  and  while  you  talk 
of  the  circumstances  that  have  given  me  the  honor  of  a  visit  so  soon 
after  your  arrival  in  London,  I  will  busy  myself  in  mixing  a  cocktail, 
one  of  the  excellent  devices  which  you*  American  people  have 
duced  to  an  appreciative  British  public." 

The  visitors  responded  readily  to  these  overtures  of  cordiality;  from 
a  tray  on  the  table  selected  with  unerring  discrimination  what  I  knew 
to  be  Holmes's  choicest  cigars,  and  in  a  brief  time  the  four  chairs 
were  drawn  in  a  half-moon  before  the  glowing  grate.  Introductions 
had  quickly  been  got  through  with. 

"Dr  Watson,  as  my  somewhat  o'erpartial  biographer,    saic 
as  he  lighted  his  pipe,  "was  on  the  point  of  wondering,  when  inter- 
rupted by  your  entrance,  at  my  having  in  advance  pronounced  upc 
the  nationality  of  my  callers." 
The  taller  of  the  gentlemen -- it  was  the  one  bearing  the  name 

Richardson  —  smiled. 

"I  was  myself  struck  by  that  allusion,"  he  responded,    no  less  than 
by  your  other  somewhat  astonishing  reference  to  our  being  but 
newly  come  to  the  city.  In  point  of  fact  we  have  been  here  a  peno< 
of  something  less  than  twenty-four  hours." 


278  THE    MARY    QUEEN    OF    SCOTS   JEWEL 

Sherlock  Holmes  laughed  pleasantly.  "It  is  the  simplest  of  matters 
when  explained,"  he  said,  "as  I  have  often  pointed  out  to  Dr.  Watson. 
In  the  line  of  research  to  which  I  occasionally  turn  my  attention,  as 
he  has  so  abundantly  set  forth  in  his  published  narratives,  acquaint- 
ance must  be  had,  as  you  will  know,  with  a  great  variety  of  subjects. 
The  motorcar,  for  instance,  that  ubiquitous  invader  of  the  realm  of 
locomotion,  naturally  falls  within  the  periphery  of  these  attentions; 
nor  could  I  long  study  its  various  interesting  phases  without  coming 
to  recognize  the  cars  of  different  makes  and  nationalities.  There  are, 
if  my  memory  is  not  at  fault,  some  one  hundred  and  thirty  varieties 
of  patterns  easily  distinguishable  to  one  adept  in  this  direction.  When 
Watson  looked  out  of  the  window,  at  my  shoulder  a  moment  ago, 
his  investigations,  pursued  in  quite  different  channels,  did  not  disclose 
to  him  what  was  evident  to  me  at  a  glance,  namely,  an  American 
machine  frequently  encountered  in  this  country.  It  was  easy  to  guess 
that  its  occupants  were  also  from  the  States. 

"As  to  the  other  matter  —  among  the  earliest  things  the  American 
man  or  woman  of  taste  does  on  reaching  London  is  to  give  an  order 
to  the  engraver  for  his  name  card  in  the  latest  London  style.  The  card 
this  season,  as  we  know,  is  small,  the  type  a  shaded  variety  of  Old 
English.  The  cards  brought  me  by  the  hand  of  Mrs.  Hudson  were  of 
medium  size,  engraved  in  last  year's  script.  Plainly  my  American 
callers  had  at  the  longest  but  a  short  time  come  to  the  city.  A  trifle 
hazardous  —  yes  —  but  in  these  matters  one  sometimes  has  to  guess 
point-blank  —  or,  to  quote  one  of  your  American  navigators,  'Stand 
boldly  to  the  South'ard  and  trust  to  luck!'  You  find  this  holds  together, 
Watson?" 

I  confessed  with  a  laugh  that  I  was  quite  satisfied.  The  American 
gentlemen  exchanged  glances  of  gratification.  Evidently,  this  exhibi- 
tion of  my  friend's  characteristic  method  of  deduction  afforded  them 
the  highest  satisfaction. 

"Which  brings  us,"  remarked  Holmes,  whose  pipe  was  now  draw- 
ing bravely,  "to  the  real  object  of  this  visit,  which  I  may  say  at  once 
I  am  glad  to  be  honored  with,  having  a  high  appreciation  of  your 
country,  and  finding  myself  always  indebted  to  one  of  your  truly 
great  writers,  whose  French  detective  I  am  pleased  to  consider  a 
monumental  character  in  a  most  difficult  field  of  endeavor.  My  friend 
Watson  has  made  some  bold  essays  in  that  direction,"  added  Holmes, 


THE    MARY    QUEEN    OF    SCOTS    JEWEL  279 

with  a  deprecatory  shake  of  the  head,  "but  it  is  a  moot  question  if 
he  ever  has  risen  to  the  exalted  level  of  The  Murders  in  the  Rue 

Morgue."  ,     .  , 

As  Sherlock  Holmes  ceased  speaking,  the  visitors,  who  had 

grave,  looked  at  each  other  questioningly. 

'  "It  is  your  story,"  said  the  one  in  spectacles. 

The  gentleman  by  the  name  of  Richardson  acknowledged  the  sug- 
gestion. T,  T 

"Perhaps,"  he  said,  "I  would  best  begin  at  the  beginning.  If  I  am 
too  long,  or  obscure  in  my  details,  do  me  the  honor  to  interrupt  me. 

"Let  us  have  the  whole  story,"  said  Holmes.  "I  naturally  assume 
that  you  solicit  my  assistance  under  some  conditions  of  difficulty. 
In  such  matters  no  details,  however  seemingly  obscure,  ^can  be  re- 
garded  as  inessential,  and  I  beg  you  to  omit  none  of  them." 
'  The  American  flicked  the  ash  from  his  cigar  and  began  his  story. 

"My  friend  and  I  landed  at  Liverpool  ten  days  or  more  ago,  for 
a  summer's  motoring  in  your  country.  We  journeyed  by  easy  stages 
up  to  London,  stopping  here  only  long  enough  to  visit  our  bankers 
and  to  mail  two  or  three  letters  of  introduction  that  we  had  brougni 

from  home."  , 

"To  mail  —  "  interrupted  Holmes;  then  he  added  with  a  laugh: 
"Ah  yes,  you  posted  your  letters.  Pardon  me." 

"Long  enough  to  post  our  letters,"  repeated  the  American,  adopting 
the  humorously  proffered  correction.  "Then  we  pushed  on  for  our 
arranged  tour  of  the  South  of  England.  At  Canterbury  a  note  over- 
took us  from  the  Lord  M-    - ,  acknowledging  receipt  of  our  letter 
of  introduction  to  that  nobleman,  and  praying  us  to  be  his  guests  at 
dinner  on  Wednesday  of  the  present  week  -  yesterday  -  as  later 
he  should  be  out  of  the  city.  It  seemed  best,  on  a  review  of  the  cir- 
cumstances, for  us  to  return  to  London,  as  his  Lordship  was  one 
whom  we  particularly  desired  to  meet.  So  Wednesday  found  us 
again  in  the  city,  where  we  took  rooms  at  the  Langham,  m  Portland 
Place  It  wanting  several  hours  of  dressing  time,  we  strolled  out  in  a 
casual  way,  bringing  up  in  Wardour  Street.  I  don't  need  to  tell  you 
that  in  its  abounding  curio  shops,  which  have  extraordinary  fascina- 
tion for  all  American  travelers,  we  found  the  time  pass  quickly.  In 
one  of  the  little  shops,  where  I  was  somewhat  known  to  the  proprietor 
by  reason  of  former  visits,  we  were  turning  over  a  tray  of  curious 


280  THE    MARY    QUEEN    OF    SCOTS   JEWEL 

stones,  with  possible  scarf  pins  in  mind,  when  the  dealer  came  for- 
ward with  a  package  that  he  had  taken  from  his  safe,  and  removing 
its  wrappings  said:  'Perhaps,  sir,  you  would  be  interested  in  this?' 

"It  was  a  curious  bit  of  antique  workmanship  —  a  gold  bar  bearing 
the  figure  of  a  boy  catching  a  mouse,  the  whole  richly  set  about  with 
diamonds  and  rubies,  with  a  large  and  costly  pearl  as  a  pendant. 
Even  in  the  dingy  light  of  the  shop  it  sparkled  with  a  sense  of  value. 

"  'It  is  from  the  personal  collection  of  the  Countess  of  Warrington,' 
said  the  dealer.  'It  belonged  originally  to  the  unfortunate  Mary  Queen 
of  Scots,  and  there  is  an  accompanying  paper  of  authentication, 
showing  its  descent  through  various  hands  for  the  past  three  hundred 
and  forty  years.  You  will  see  engraved  here,  in  the  setting,  the  arms 
of  Mary.' " 

Holmes,  a  past  master  in  the  science  of  heraldry,  his  voice  ex- 
hibiting a  degree  of  interest  with  which  I  was  quite  familiar,  here 
broke  in: 

"Or,  a  lion  rampant  within  a  double  tressure  flory  and  counter 
flory,  gules.  Mary,  as  Queen  of  Scotland  and  daughter  of  James  I, 
would  bear  the  arms  of  Scotland.  I  know  the  jewel  you  are  describing 
—  indeed,  I  saw  it  one  time  when  visiting  at  the  country  seat  of  the 
Countess,  following  a  daring  attempt  at  burglary  there.  You  know 
the  particulars,  Watson.  I  have  heard  that  since  the  death  of  the 
Countess,  the  family  being  straitened  financially,  some  of  her  jewels 
have  been  put  into  discreet  hands  for  negotiation." 

"So  the  dealer  explained,"  the  visitor  continued,  "and  he  added,  that 
as  the  jewels  were  so  well  known  in  England,  they  could  be  sold  only 
to  go  abroad,  hence  the  value  of  a  prospective  American  customer. 
I  confess  that  the  jewel  interested  me.  I  had  a  newly  married  niece 
in  mind  for  whom  I  had  not  yet  found  just  the  wedding  gift  that 
suited  me,  and  this  appeared  to  fit  into  the  situation. 

"  'What  is  the  price?'  I  asked. 

"  'We  think  one  thousand  pounds  very  cheap  for  it,  sir,'  said  the 
dealer,  in  the  easy  manner  with  which  your  shopkeepers  price  their 
wares  to  Americans. 

"After  some  further  talk,  our  time  being  run  out,  my  friend  and 
I  returned  to  the  Langham  and  dressed  for  dinner.  It  was  while 
dressing  that  a  knock  came  at  my  room  door.  Opening  it,  I  found  a 
messenger  from  the  curio  dealer's,  who,  handing  me  a  small  package, 


THE    MARY    QUEEN    OF    SCOTS   JEWEL  281 

explained  that  it  was  the  jewel,  which  the  dealer  desired  me  to  retain 
for  more  convenient  examination.  In  the  embarrassment  of  the 
moment  I  neglected  to  do  the  proper  thing  and  return  the  package 
to  the  messenger,  who  indeed  had  touched  his  cap  and  gone  while 

yet  stood  in  the  door. 

'"Look  at  this,  Fuller,'  I  called,  and  stepped  into  his  room- 
is  our  traveling  custom  to  have  rooms  connecting.  'Isn't  this  quite 
like  an  English  shopkeeper,  entrusting  his  property  to  a  comparative 
stranger?  It's  a  dangerous  thing  to  have  credit  with  these  confiding 

tradesmen.' 

"My  friend's  reply  very  clearly  framed  the  situation. 

"  'It's  a  more  dangerous  thing,'  he  said,  'to  be  chosen  as  the  safe- 
deposit  of  priceless  heirlooms.  It  is  scarcely  the  sort  of  ^ thing  one 
would  seek  to  be  made  the  custodian  of  in  a  strange  city.' 

"This  was  true.  The  dinner  hour  was  close  on  our  heels,  a  taxi 
was  in  waiting,  there  was  no  time  to  arrange  with  the  office,  and  1 
dropped  the  package  into  my  inner  pocket.  After  all,  it  seemed  a 
secure  enough  place.  I  could  feel  its  gentle  pressure  against  my  side, 
which  would  be  a  constant  guarantee  of  safety. 

"  We  were  received  by  Lord  and  Lady  M  -    -  with  the  open-handed 
cordiality  that  they  always  accord  to  visitors  from  our  country.  The 
company  at  table  was  not  so  large  but  that  the  conversation  could  be 
for  the  most  part  general,  running  at  the  first  to  topics  chiefly 
American,  with  that  charming  exhibition  of  English  naivete  and 
ignorance -you  will  pardon  me -in  affairs  across  the  water.  From 
this  point  the  talk  trailed  off  to  themes  quite  unrelated  but  always 
interesting -the  Great  War,  in  which  his  Lordship  had  played  a 
conspicuous  part;  the  delicious  flavor  of  wall-grown  peaches;  the 
health  of  the  King;  of  her  ladyship's  recipe  for  barleywater;  the 
recent  disposal  of  the  library  and  personal  effects  of  the  notorious 
Lord  Earlbank.  This  by  natural  steps  led  to  a  discussion  of  family 
heirlooms,  which  speedily  brought  out  the  jewel,  whose  insistent 
pressure  I  had  felt  all  through  the  courses,  and  which  was  soon  passing 
from  hand  to  hand,  accompanied  by  feminine  expressions  of  delight. 
"The  interest  in  the  jewel  appeared  to  get  into  the  air.  Even  the 
servants  became  affected  by  it.  I  noticed  the  under  butler,  while  filling 
the  glass  of  Captain  Pole-Carew,  who  was  holding  the  trinket  up 
to  catch  the  varying  angles  of  light,  in  which  it  flashed  amazingly, 


282  THE    MARY    QUEEN    OF    SCOTS    JEWEL 

fasten  his  eyes  upon  it.  For  an  instant  he  breathed  heavily  and  almost 
leaned  upon  the  captain's  shoulder,  forgetting  the  wine  he  was  in 
the  act  of  decanting,  and  which,  overflowing  the  glass,  ran  down 
upon  the  cloth.  The  jewel  continued  its  circuit  of  the  table  and  re- 
turned to  my  inner  pocket. 

"  'A  not  over-safe  repository,  if  I  may  venture  the  opinion,'  said 
the  captain,  with  a  smile.  I  had  occasion  later  to  recall  the  cynical 
remark. 

"We  returned  to  our  hotel  at  a  late  hour,  and  fatigued  with  the  long 
day  went  directly  to  bed.  Our  rooms,  as  I  have  said,  adjoined,  and  it 
is  a  habit  in  our  travels  at  the  day's  end  to  be  back  and  forth,  talking 
as  we  disrobe.  I  allude  to  this  fact  as  it  bears  upon  the  case.  I  was 
first  in  bed,  and  remember  hearing  Mr.  Fuller  put  up  the  window 
before  his  light  went  out.  For  myself,  I  dropped  off  at  once  and  must 
have  slept  soundly.  I  was  awakened  by  hearing  my  name  called 
loudly.  It  was  Fuller's  voice  and  I  rushed  at  once  into  his  room, 
hastily  switching  on  the  electric  light.  Fuller  sat  on  the  edge  of  the 
bed,  in  his  pajamas  —  and  as  this  part  of  the  story  is  his,  perhaps  he 
would  best  tell  it." 

The  visitor  in  the  Pickwickian  spectacles,  thus  appealed  to,  took  up 
the  narrative. 

"I  also  had  gone  instantly  to  sleep,"  he  said,  "but  by-and-by  came 
broad  awake,  startled,  with  no  sense  of  time,  but  a  stifled  feeling  of 
alarm.  I  dimly  saw  near  the  side  of  my  bed  a  figure,  which  on  my 
suddenly  sitting  up  made  a  hurried  movement.  With  no  clear  idea 
of  what  I  was  doing,  I  made  a  hasty  clutch  in  the  dark  and  fastened 
my  hand  on  the  breast  of  a  man's  coat.  I  think  my  grip  was  a 
frenzied  one,  for  as  the  man  snatched  himself  away,  I  felt  the  cloth 
tear.  In  a  second  of  time  the  man  had  crossed  the  room  and  I  heard 
the  window  rattle  as  he  struck  the  sash  in  passing  through  it.  It 
was  then  I  cried  out,  and  Mr.  Richardson  came  running  in." 

"We  made  a  hasty  examination  of  the  room,"  the  first  speaker 
resumed.  "My  evening  coat  lay  on  the  floor,  and  I  remembered  that 
when  taking  it  off  I  had  hung  it  on  the  post  of  Fuller's  bed.  It  is 
to  prolong  an  already  somewhat  lengthy  story  not  to  say  at  once  that 
the  jewel  was  gone.  We  stared  at  each  other  with  rueful  faces. 

"  'The  man  has  gone  through  that  window  with  it!'  cried  Fuller. 
He  pointed  with  a  clenched  hand.  Then  he  brought  his  hand  back, 


THE    MARY    QUEEN    OF    SCOTS    JEWEL  283 

with  a  conscious  air,  and  opened  it.  'This  is  a  souvenir  of  him,'  he 
said,  and  he  held  out  a  button  —  this  button." 

Sherlock  Holmes  reached  quickly  for  the  little  article  that  the 
speaker  held  out  and  carefully  examined  it  through  his  lens. 

"A  dark  horn  button,"  he  said,  "of  German  manufacture  and 
recent  importation.  A  few  strands  of  thread  pulled  out  with  it.  This 
may  be  helpful."  Then  he  turned  to  his  callers.  "And  what  else?" 

"Well  —  that  is  about  all  we  can  tell  you.  We  did  the  obvious 
thing  —  rang  for  the  night  clerk  and  watchman  and  made  what 
examination  was  possible.  The  burglar  had  plainly  come  along  a 
narrow  iron  balcony,  opening  from  one  of  the  hotel  corridors  and 
skirting  the  row  of  windows  that  gave  upon  an  inner  courtyard, 
escaping  by  the  same  channel.  The  night  watchman  could  advance 
only  a  feeble  conjecture  as  to  how  this  might  be  done  successfully. 
The  burglar,  he  opined,  could  have  made  off  through  the  servants' 
quarters,  or  possibly  was  himself  a  guest  of  the  house,  familiar  with 
its  passages  and  now  snugly  locked  in  his  room  and  beyond  appre- 
hension." 

"Did  you  speak  of  your  loss?"  asked  Holmes. 

"No;  that  did  not  appear  to  be  necessary.  We  treated  the  incident 
at  the  moment  as  only  an  invasion." 

"Exceedingly  clever,"  approved  Holmes.  "You  Americans  can 
usually  be  trusted  not  to  drive  in  too  far." 

"We  breakfasted  early,  decided  that  you  were  our  only  resource 
and  —  in  short,"  concluded  the  visitor,  with  an  outward  gesture  of 
the  hands,  "that  is  the  whole  story.  The  loss  is  considerable  and  we 
wish  to  entrust  the  matter  to  the  discreet  hands  of  Mr.  Sherlock 
Holmes." 

My  friend  lay  back  in  his  chair,  intently  regarding  the  button 
poised  between  his  forefingers. 

"What  became  of  that  under  butler?"  he  asked  abruptly. 

A  little  look  of  surprise  slipped  into  the  countenance  of  the  visitor. 
"Why,  now  that  you  call  attention  to  it,"  he  returned,  after  a  moment's 
reflection,  "I  remember  seeing  the  head  butler  putting  a  spoonful 
of  salt  upon  the  red  splotch  the  spilled  wine  had  made,  then  turning 
his  awkward  assistant  from  the  room.  It  was  so  quietly  done  as  to 
attract  no  special  notice.  Afterward,  over  our  cigars  in  the  library,  I 
recall  his  lordship  making  some  joking  allusion  to  Watkins  —  so  he 


284  THE    MARY    QUEEN    OF    SCOTS   JEWEL 

called  the  man  — being  something  of  a  connoisseur  in  jewelry  — 
a  collector  in  a  small  way.  His  Lordship  laughingly  conjectured  that 
the  sight  of  so  rare  a  jewel  had  unnerved  him.  Beyond  regarding  the 
allusion  in  the  way  of  a  quiet  apology  for  a  servitor's  awkwardness, 
I  gave  it  no  particular  thought." 

Sherlock  Holmes  continued  to  direct  his  gaze  upon  the  button. 

"Your  story  is  interesting,"  he  said  after  some  moments  of  silence. 
"It  will  please  me  to  give  it  further  thought.  Perhaps  you  will  let  me 
look  in  on  you  later  at  your  hotel.  It  is  possible  that  in  the  course 
of  the  day  I  shall  be  able  to  give  you  some  news." 

The  visitors  hereupon  courteously  taking  their  leave,  Holmes  and 
I  were  left  alone. 

"Well,  Watson,"  he  began,  "what  do  you  make  of  it?" 

"There  is  an  under  butler  to  be  reckoned  up,"  I  replied. 

"You  also  observed  the  under  butler,  did  you?"  said  Holmes 
abstractedly.  After  a  pause  he  added :  "Do  you  happen  to  know  the 
address  of  Lord  M 's  tailor?" 

I  confessed  that  this  lay  outside  the  circle  of  my  knowledge  of  the 
nobility.  Holmes  put  on  his  cap  and  raincoat. 

"I  am  going  out  on  my  own,  Watson,"  he  said,  "for  a  stroll  among 
the  fashionable  West  End  tailor  shops.  Perhaps  you  will  do  me  the 
honor  to  lunch  with  me  at  the  Club.  I  may  want  to  discuss  matters 

with  you." 

Sherlock  Holmes  went  out  and  I  returned  home.  It  was  a  dull  day 
for  patients,  for  which  I  was  glad,  and  the  lunch  hour  found  me 
promptly  at  the  Athenaeum,  waiting  at  our  accustomed  corner  table 
—  impatiently  waiting,  for  it  was  long  past  the  lunch  hour  when 
Holmes  came  in. 

"A  busy  morning,  Watson,"  was  his  brief  remark  as  he  took  his 

chair. 

"And  successful?" 

To  this  Holmes  made  no  reply,  taking  his  soup  with  profound 
abstraction  and  apparently  oblivious  of  his  guest  across  the  table. 
While  I  was  accustomed  to  this  attitude  of  preoccupation,  it  piqued 
me  to  be  left  so  entirely  out  of  his  consideration.  A  review  of  his 
morning  investigations  seemed,  under  the  circumstances,  to  be  quite 

my  due. 
"I  am  going  to  ask  you,"  began  Holmes,  when  the  meal  had  gone 


THE    MARY    QUEEN    OF    SCOTS    JEWEL  285 

on  to  its  close  in  silence,  "to  get  tickets  for  the  Alhambra  tonight  — 
four  tickets.  In  the  middle  of  the  house,  with  an  aisle  seat.  Then 
kindly  drop  around  to  the  hotel  and  arrange  with  our  friends  to  go 
with  us.  Or,  rather,  for  us  to  go  with  them  — in  their  motorcar, 
Watson.  Request  diem  to  pick  us  up  at  Baker  Street.  You  will  under- 
take this?  Very  good,  Watson.  Then  — till  I  see  you  at  my  rooms!" 
And  tossing  off  his  coffee  in  the  manner  of  a  toast,  Sherlock  Holmes 
abruptly  arose  and  left  me,  waving  his  cap  as  he  went  through  the 
door. 

It  was  useless  to  demur  at  this  cavalier  treatment.  I  had  to  content 
myself  with  the  reflection  that,  as  my  friend  mounted  into  the  atmos- 
phere of  criminal  detection,  the  smaller  obligations  fell  away  from 
him.  During  what  was  left  of  the  day  I  was  busy  in  executing  the 
commissions  which  he  had  entrusted  to  me,  and  night  found  me  at 
Baker  Street,  where  I  discovered  Holmes  in  evening  clothes. 

"I  was  just  speculating,  Watson,"  he  began,  in  an  airy  manner, 
"upon  the  extraordinary  range  and  variety  of  the  seemingly  in- 
significant and  lowly  article  of  commerce  known  as  the  button.  It 
is  a  device  common  in  one  form  or  another  to  every  country.  Its  origin 
we  should  need  to  seek  back  of  the  dimmest  borders  of  recorded 
history.  Its  uses  and  application  are  beyond  calculation.  Do  you  hap- 
pen to  know,  my  dear  Doctor,  the  figures  representing  the  imports 
into  England  for  a  single  year  of  this  ornamental,  and  at  times  highly 
useful,  little  article  ?  Of  horn  buttons,  for  example  —  it  were  curious 
to  speculate  upon  the  astonishing  number  of  substances  that  mas- 
querade under  that  distinguishing  appellation.  Indeed,  the  real  horn 
button  when  found  —  if  I  may  quote  from  our  friend  Captain  Cuttle 
—  is  easily  made  a  note  of." 

It  was  in  this  bantering  vein  that  Holmes  ran  on,  not  suffering 
interruption,  until  the  arrival  of  our  callers  of  die  morning,  in  their 
motorcar,  which  speedily  conveyed  us  to  the  Alhambra,  that  gorgeous 
home  of  refined  vaudeville.  The  theater  was  crowded  as  usual.  A 
few  moments  after  our  arrival,  one  of  the  boxes  filled  with  a  fashion- 
able party,  among  whom  our  American  friends  recognized  some  of 
their  dinner  acquaintances  of  the  previous  evening.  Later  I  perceived 
Captain  Pole-Carew,  as  he  looked  over  the  house,  bow  to  our  com- 
panions. Then  his  glance  ranged  to  Sherlock  Holmes,  where  I  may 
have  imagined  it  rested  a  moment,  passing  thence  to  a  distant  part 


286  THE    MARY    QUEEN    OF    SCOTS    JEWEL 

of  the  galleries.  Why  we  had  been  brought  to  this  public  amusement 
hall  it  was  impossible  to  conjecture.  That  in  some  manner  it  bore 
upon  the  commission  Holmes  had  undertaken  I  was  fain  to  believe, 
but  beyond  that  conclusion  it  was  idle  to  speculate.  At  one  time 
during  the  evening  Holmes,  who  had  taken  the  aisle  seat,  suddenly 
got  up  and  retired  to  the  lobby,  but  was  soon  back  again  and  ap- 
parently engrossed  in  what  went  on  upon  the  stage. 

At  the  end  of  the  performance  we  made  our  way  through  the 
slowly  moving  audience,  visibly  helped  along  by  Holmes.  In  the 
lobby  we  chanced  to  encounter  Captain  Pole-Carew,  who  had  sep- 
arated from  the  box  party.  He  greeted  the  Americans  with  some 
reserve,  but  moved  along  with  us  to  the  exit,  near  which  our  motor- 
car already  waited.  The  captain  had  distantly  acknowledged  the 
introduction  to  Holmes  and  myself,  and  knowing  how  my  friend 
resented  these  cool  conventionalities,  I  was  unprepared  for  the 
warmth  with  which  he  seconded  the  suggestion  that  the  captain  make 
one  of  our  party  in  the  drive  home. 

"Sit  here  in  the  tonneau,"  he  said  cordially,  "and  let  me  take  the 
seat  with  the  chauffeur.  It  will  be  a  pleasure,  I  assure  you." 

The  captain's  manifest  reluctance  to  join  our  party  was  quite 
overcome  by  Holmes's  polite  insistence.  His  natural  breeding  as- 
serted itself  against  whatever  desire  he  may  have  entertained  for 
other  engagements,  and  in  a  short  time  the  car  had  reached  his  door 
in  Burleigh  Street. 

Sherlock  Holmes  quickly  dismounted.  "We  have  just  time  for  a 
cigar  and  a  cocktail  with  the  captain,"  he  proposed. 

"Yes,  to  be  sure,"  said  Captain  Pole-Carew,  but  with  no  excess  of 
heartiness.  "Do  me  the  honor,  gentlemen,  of  walking  into  my  bachelor 
home.  I  —  I  shall  be  charmed." 

It  was  Sherlock  Holmes  who  carried  the  thing  off;  otherwise  I 
think  none  of  us  would  have  felt  that  the  invitation  was  other  than 
the  sort  that  is  perfunctorily  made  and  expected  to  be  declined,  with 
a  proper  show  of  politeness  on  both  sides.  But  Holmes  moved  gayly 
to  the  street  door,  maintaining  a  brisk  patter  of  small  talk  as  Pole- 
Carew  got  out  his  latchkey.  We  were  ushered  into  a  dimly  lighted 
hall  and  passed  thence  into  a  large  apartment,  handsomely  furnished, 
the  living  room  of  a  man  of  taste. 


THE    MARY    QUEEN    OF    SCOTS    JEWEL  287 

"Pray  be  seated,  gentlemen,"  said  our  host.  "I  expected  my  valet 
here  before  me  —  he  also  was  at  the  theater  tonight  —  but  your  motor- 
car outstripped  him.  However,  I  daresay  we  can  manage,"  and  the 
captain  busied  himself  setting  forth  inviting  decanters  and  cigars. 

We  had  but  just  engaged  in  the  polite  enjoyment  of  Captain  Pole- 
Carew's  hospitality  when  Sherlock  Holmes  suddenly  clapped  his 
handkerchief  to  his  nose,  with  a  slight  exclamation  of  annoyance. 

"It  is  nothing,"  he  said,  "a  trifling  nose-bleed  to  which  I  am  often 
subject  after  the  theater."  He  held  his  head  forward,  his  face  covered 
with  the  handkerchief. 

"It  is  most  annoying,"  he  added  apologetically.  "Cold  water  —  er 
—  could  I  step  into  your  dressing  room,  Captain?" 

"Certainly  —  certainly,"  our  host  assented;   "through  that  door, 

Mr.  Holmes." 

Holmes  quickly  vanished  through  the  indicated  door,  whence 
presently  came  the  sound  of  running  water  from  a  tap.  We  had 
scarcely  resumed  our  interrupted  train  of  conversation  when  he  re- 
appeared in  the  door,  bearing  in  his  hand  a  jacket. 

"Thank  you,  Captain  Pole-Carew,"  he  said,  coming  forward,  "my 
nose  is  quite  better.  It  has  led  me,  I  find,  to  a  singular  discovery.  May 
I  ask,  without  being  regarded  as  impolite,  if  this  is  your  jacket?" 

I  saw  that  Captain  Pole-Carew  had  gone  pale  as  he  answered 
haughtily:  "It  is  my  valet's  jacket,  Mr.  Holmes.  He  must  have  for- 
gotten it.  Why  do  you  ask?" 

"I  was  noticing  the  buttons,"  returned  Holmes;  "they  are  exactly 
like  this  one  in  my  pocket,"  and  he  held  the  dark  horn  button  up  to 
view. 

"What  of  that?"  retorted  our  host  quickly;  "could  there  not  be 

many  such?" 

"Yes,"  Holmes  acknowledged,  "but  this  button  of  mine  was  vio- 
lently torn  from  its  fastening  — as  it  might  have  been  from  this 
jacket." 

"Mr.  Holmes,"  returned  Captain  Pole-Carew  with  a  sneer,  "your 
jest  is  neither  timely  nor  a  brilliant  one.  The  jacket  has  no  button 
missing." 

"No,  but  it  had,"  returned  Holmes  coolly;  "here,  you  will  see,  it 
has  been  sewn  on,  not  as  a  tailor  sews  it,  with  the  thread  concealed, 


288  THE    MARY    QUEEN    OF    SCOTS   JEWEL 

but  through  and  through  the  cloth,  leaving  the  thread  visible.  As  a 
man  unskilled,  or  in  some  haste,  might  sew  it  on.  You  get  my  mean- 
ing, Captain?" 

Sherlock  Holmes  as  he  spoke  had  crossed  the  room  to  where 
Captain  Pole-Carew,  his  face  dark  with  passion,  was  standing  on  the 
hearthrug.  Holmes  made  an  exaggerated  gesture  in  holding  up  the 
jacket,  stumbled  upon  the  captain  in  doing  so,  and  fell  violently 
against  the  mantel.  In  an  effort  to  recover  himself  his  arm  dislodged 
a  handsome  vase,  which  fell  to  the  floor  and  shivered  into  fragments. 
There  was  a  cry  from  Captain  Pole-Carew,  who  flung  himself  amid 
the  fractured  pieces  of  glass.  Swift  as  his  action  was,  Sherlock  Holmes 
was  quicker,  and  snatched  from  the  floor  an  object  that  glittered 
among  the  broken  fragments. 

"I  think,  Mr.  Richardson,"  he  said  calmly,  recovering  himselt, 
"that,  as  a  judge  of  jewelry,  this  is  something  you  will  take  particular 

interest  in." 

Before  any  one  of  us  was  over  the  surprise  of  the  thing,  Cap- 
tain Pole-Carew  had  quite  regained  his  poise,  and  stood  lighting  his 

cigar.  , 

"A  very  pretty  play,  Mr.  Sherlock  Holmes,"  he  said.  "I  am  indebted 
to  you  and  your  itinerant  friends  for  a  charming  evening.  May 
suggest,  however,  that  the  hour  is  now  late,  and  Baker  Street,  even 
for  a  motorcar,  something  of  a  distance?" 

"Naturally,"  said  Sherlock  Holmes,  when  we  had  reached  his  rooms 
and  joined  him  in  a  good-night  cigar,  "you  expect  me  to  lay  bare 
the  processes  and  so  rob  my  performance  of  its  sole  element  of 
fascination.  Watson  has  taught  you  in  his  memoirs  to  expect  it.  My 
button  quest  was  certainly  directed  against  his  Lordship's  under 
butler,  but  at  the  first  inquiry  it  turned  up,  to  my  surprise,  the 
entirely  unexpected  valet  of  quite  another  person.  It  was  a  curious 
fact,  the  tailor  declared,  that  he  should  twice  in  one  day  have  calls 
for  that  identical  button,  and  he  innocently  alluded  to  the  valet  of 
Pole-Carew.  This  was  sufficient  clue  to  start  upon. 

"Investigation  in  proper  quarters  not  only  established  the  palpable 
innocuousness  of  the  under  butler,  but  afforded  such  insight  into  the 
existent  relations  between  the  captain  and  his  valet  as  I  doubt  not 
will  again  bring  them  into  the  sphere  of  my  attentions.  It  was  plainly 


THE    MARY    QUEEN    OF    SCOTS   JEWEL  289 

the  brain  of  the  master  that  conceived  the  robbery,  but  the  hand  of 
the  valet  executed  it.  I  even  paid  a  most  enjoyable  visit  to  our  friends 
at  the  Langham,  as  I  had  promised." 

The  Americans  looked  at  each  other. 

"That  could  hardly  be,"  they  said.  "We  were  not  out  of  our  rooms, 
and  our  only  caller  was  a  clerk  from  the  curio  shop  with  a  message 
from  the  dealer— an  impertinent  old  fellow  he  was,  too,  who  followed 
us  about  the  rooms  with  many  senile  questions  as  to  our  tour.' 

"In  this  profession  I  have  to  adopt  many  disguises,"  Holmes 
smilingly  explained.  "Of  course  I  could  have  called  on  you  openly, 
yet  it  amused  me  to  fool  you  a  bit.  But  a  disguise  would  not  serve 
my  purpose  in  getting  into  Captain  Pole-Carew's  apartments,  which 
was  the  thing  now  most  desired.  Looking  back  upon  the  achieve- 
ment, I  flatter  myself  that  it  was  rather  ingeniously  pulled  off.  You 
know,  Watson,  of  my  association  with  the  theaters  and  how  easily 
under  such  a  connection  one  can  learn  who  has  reserved  boxes. 

"I  confess  that  here  things  played  into  my  hand.  I  perceived  that 
Pole-Carew  recognized  me  — that  is  your  doing,  Watson  — and  I 
was  not  surprised  when  I  saw  his  glance  single  out  a  person  in  the 
gallery,  with  whom  he  presently  got  into  conversation.  I  say  con- 
versation, for  Pole-Carew  I  discovered  to  be  an  expert  in  the  lip 
language,  an  accomplishment  to  which  I  myself  once  devoted  some 
months  of  study  and  which  I  have  found  very  helpful  in  my  vocation. 
It  was  an  easy  matter  to  intercept  the  message  that  the  captain  from 
his  box,  with  exaggerated  labial  motion,  lipped  above  the  heads  of 
the  audience. 
"  'Hide  the  vase!'  was  the  message,  several  times  repeated.  "Hide  the 

vase!' 

"That  was  the  moment  when  I  left  the  theater  for  consultation 
with  a  friendly  detective  in  the  lobby.  I  strongly  suspect,"  said  Sher- 
lock Holmes,  with  a  chuckle,  "that  the  reason  the  captain  failed  to 
find  his  valet  at  home  could  be  traced  to  the  prompt  and  intelligent 
action  of  that  friendly  detective.  Our  foisting  ourselves  upon  the 
reluctant  captain  was  merely  a  clever  bit  of  card  forcing,  arranged 
quite  in  advance,  but  the  rest  of  it  was  simplicity  itself. 

"Inasmuch  as  you  declare  that  it  is  the  property  only,  and  not  a 
criminal  prosecution,  that  you  desire,  I  do  not  think  anything  re- 


mains!3" 


290  THE    MARY    QUEEN    OF    SCOTS    JEWEL 

"Except,"  said  the  gentleman  warmly,  taking  the  jewel  from  his 
pocket,  "to  pay  you  for  this  extraordinary  recovery." 

Sherlock  Holmes  laughed  pleasantly. 

"My  dear  American  sir,"  he  replied,  "I  am  still  very  much  in  your 
debt.  You  should  not  lose  sight  of  Edgar  Allan. Poe." 


Detective:  SHERLOCK  HOLMES 

Narrators:  WATSON  and  BUNNY 


THE   RUBY   OF   KHITMANDU 
by  HUGH  K1NGSMILL 


This  artful  blend  of  pastiche  and  parody  first  appeared  in  "The 
Bookman"  issue  of  April  1932.  It  is  an  excellent  example  of 
what  might  be  termed  "humorous  reverence"  The  tafe-off 
of  E.  W.  Hornung's  style  and  characterization  is  extraor- 
dinarily true  to  the  original  —  jar  truer,  in  fact,  than  the 
Doylesque  counterpart. 

Not  the  least  unusual  quality  of  Mr.  Kingsmill's  contribution 
is  his  superb  indirection.  By  exposing  the  colossal  blundering 
and  incompetence  of  the  two  famous  "stooges,"  Bunny  and 
Watson,  Mr.  Kingsmill  subtly  reminds  us  that  it  is  Raffles  and 
Sherloct^  Holmes  who  are  the  real  giants  —  that  as  champions 
respectfully  [sic]  of  crime  and  detection,  Raffles  and  Holmes 
reduce  all  colleagues  and  competitors  to  the  mere  status  of, 
on  the  one  hand,  pilfering  pigmies,  and  on  the  other,  detecting 
dwarfs.  It  is  a  lesson  we  should  not  forget  .  .  . 


(SYNOPSIS  —  The  Maharajah  of  Khitmandu,  who  is  staying  at  Clar- 
idge's,  is  robbed  of  the  famous  Ruby  of  Khitmandu.  Sherloc\  Holmes 
traces  the  theft  to  Raffles,  who  agrees  to  hand  over  the  ruby  to  Holmes, 
on  condition  that  he  and  his  confederate  Bunny  are  not  proceeded 
against.  Raffles  has  just  explained  the  situation  to  Bunny.  They  are  in 
the  rooms  of  Raffles  in  the  Albany.) 

CHAPTER  XV 

M  (Bunny's  'Narrative'} 

Y  HEART  froze  at  the  incredible  words  which  told  me  that 
Raffles,  of  all  men,  was  throwing  up  the  sponge  without  a  struggle, 


2Q2  THE    RUBY    OF    KHITMANDU 

was  tamely  handing  over  the  most  splendid  of  all  the  splendid 
trophies  of  his  skill  and  daring  to  this  imitation  detective,  after  out- 
witting all  the  finest  brains  of  the  finest  crime-investigating  organiza- 
tion in  the  world.  Suddenly  the  ice  turned  to  fire,  and  I  was  on  my 
feet,  speaking  as  I  had  never  spoken  to  living  man  before.  What  I 
said  I  cannot  remember.  If  I  could,  I  would  not  record  it.  I  believe 
I  wept.  I  know  I  went  down  on  my  knees.  And  Raffles  sat  there 
with  never  a  word!  I  see  him  still,  leaning  back  in  a  luxurious  arm- 
chair, watching  me  with  steady  eyes  sheathed  by  drooping  lids. 
There  was  a  faint  smile  on  the  handsome  dare-devil  face,  and  the 
hands  were  raised  as  if  in  deprecation;  nor  can  I  give  my  readers  a 
more  complete  idea  of  the  frenzy  which  had  me  in  its  grip  than  by 
recording  the  plain  fact  that  I  was  utterly  oblivious  to  the  strangeness 
of  the  spectacle  before  me.  Raffles  apologetic,  Raffles  condescending 
to  conciliate  me  —  at  any  other  time  such  a  reversal  of  our  natural 
roles  had  filled  me  with  unworthy  exultation  for  myself,  and  bitter 
shame  for  him.  But  I  was  past  caring  now. 

And  then,  still  holding  his  palms  towards  me,  he  crossed  them.  I 
have  said  that  during  the  telling  of  his  monstrous  decision  he  had 
the  ruby  between  the  thumb  and  forefinger  of  his  right  hand.  Now 
the  left  hand  was  where  the  right  had  been,  and  the  ruby  was  in  it. 
I  suppose  I  should  have  guessed  at  once,  I  suppose  I  should  have  read 
in  his  smile  what  it  needed  my  own  eyes  to  tell  me,  that  there  was  a 
ruby  in  his  right  hand  too!  So  that  was  the  meaning  of  the  upraised 
hands!  I  swear  that  my  first  sensation  was  a  pang  of  pure  relief  that 
Raffles  had  not  stooped  to  conciliate  me,  my  second  a  hot  shame  that 
I  had  been  idiot  enough  even  for  one  moment  to  believe  him  capable 
of  doing  so.  Then  the  full  significance  of  the  two  rubies  flashed 

across  me. 
"An  imitation?"  I  gasped,  falling  back  into  my  chair. 

"An  exact  replica." 

"For  Holmes?" 

He  nodded. 

"But  supposing  he  —  " 

"That's  a  risk  I  have  to  take." 

"Then  I  go  with  you." 

A  savage  gleam  lit  up  the  steel-blue  eyes. 

"I  don't  want  you." 


THE    RUBY    OF    KHITMANDU  293 

"Holmes  may  spot  it.  I  must  share  the  risk." 

"You  fool,  you'd  double  it!" 

"Raffles!"  The  cry  of  pain  was  wrung  from  me  before  I  could 
check  it,  but  if  there  was  weakness  in  my  self-betrayal,  I  could  not 
regret  it  when  I  saw  the  softening  in  his  wonderful  eyes. 

"I  didn't  mean  it,  Bunny,"  he  said. 

"Then  you'll  take  me!"  I  cried,  and  held  my  breath  through  an 
endless  half-minute,  until  a  consenting  nod  brought  me  to  my  feet 
again.  The  hand  that  shot  out  to  grasp  his  was  met  half-way,  and  a 
twinkling  eye  belied  the  doleful  resignation  in  his  "What  an  obstinate 
rabbit  it  is!" 

Our  appointment  with  Holmes  was  for  the  following  evening  at 
nine.  The  clocks  of  London  were  striking  the  half-hour  after  eight 
when  I  entered  the  Albany.  My  dear  villain,  in  evening  dress,  worn 
as  only  he  could  wear  it,  was  standing  by  the  table;  but  there  was 
that  in  his  attitude  which  struck  the  greeting  dumb  upon  my  lips. 
My  eyes  followed  the  direction  of  his,  and  I  saw  the  two  rubies  side 
by  side  in  their  open  cases. 

"What  is  it,  Raffles?"  I  cried.  "Has  anything  happened?" 

"It's  no  good,  Bunny,"  he  said,  looking  up.  "I  can't  risk  it.  With 
anyone  else  I'd  chance  it,  and  be  damned  to  the  consequences,  too. 
But  Holmes  —  no,  Bunny!  I  was  a  fool  ever  to  play  with  the  idea." 

I  could  not  speak.  The  bitterness  of  my  disappointment,  the 
depth  of  my  disillusion,  took  me  by  the  throat  and  choked  me.  That 
Raffles  should  be  knocked  out  I  could  have  borne,  that  he  should  let 
the  fight  go  by  default  —  there  was  the  shame  to  which  I  could  fit 
no  words. 

"He'd  spot  it,  Bunny.  He'd  spot  it."  Raffles  picked  up  one  of  the 
cases.  "See  this  nick?"  he  asked  lightly,  for  all  the  world  as  if  blazing 
eyes  and  a  scarlet  face  were  an  invitation  to  confidences.  "I've  marked 
this  case  because  it  holds  the  one  and  only  Ruby  of  Khitmandu,  and 
on  my  life  I  don't  believe  I  could  tell  which  ruby  was  which,  if  I 
once  got  the  cases  mixed." 

"And  yet,"  I  croaked  from  a  dry  throat,  "you  think  Holmes  can 
do  what  you  can't!" 

"My  dear  rabbit,  precious  stones  are  one  of  his  hobbies.  The  fellow's 
written  a  monograph  on  them,  as  I  discovered  only  to-day.  I'm  not 


294  THE    RUBY    OF    KHITMANDU 

saying  he'd  spot  my  imitation,  but  I  am  most  certainly  not  going 
to  give  him  the  chance,"  and  he  turned  on  his  heel  and  strode  into 
his  bedroom  for  his  overcoat. 

The  patient  readers  of  these  unworthy  chronicles  do  not  need  to 
be  reminded  that  I  am  not  normally  distinguished  for  rapidity  of 
either  thought  or  action.  But  for  once  brain  and  hand  worked  as 
surely  and  swiftly  as  though  they  had  been  Raffles's  own,  and  the 
rubies  had  changed  places  a  full  half-minute' before  Raffles  returned 
to  find  me  on  my  feet,  my  hat  clapped  to  my  head,  and  a  look  in  my 
eyes  which  opened  his  own  in  enquiry. 
"I'm  coming  with  you,"  I  cried. 
Raffles  stopped  dead,  with  an  ugly  glare. 

"Haven't  you  grasped,  my  good  fool,  that  I'm  handing  Holmes 
the  real  stone?" 
"He  may  play  you  false." 
"I  refuse  to  take  you." 
"Then  I  follow  you." 

Raffles  picked  up  the  marked  case,  snapped  it  to,  and  slipped 
into  his  overcoat  pocket.  I  was  outwitting  him  for  his  own  good,  yet 
a  pang  shot  through  me  at  the  sight,  with  another  to  follow  when  the 
safe  closed  on  the  real  ruby  in  the  dummy's  case.  And  the  eyes  that 
strove  to  meet  his  fell  most  shamefully  as  he  asked  if  I  still  proposed 
to  thrust  my  company  upon  him.  Through  teeth  which  I  could  hardly 
keep  from  chattering  I  muttered  that  it  was  a  trap,  that  Holmes 
would  take  the  stone  and  then  call  in  the  police,  that  I  must  share 
the  danger  as  I  would  have  shared  the  profits.  A  contemptuous  shrug 
of  the  splendid  shoulders,  and  a  quick  spin  on  his  heel,  were  all  the 
answer  he  vouchsafed  me,  and  not  a  word  broke  the  silence  between 
us  as  we  strode  northwards  through  the  night. 

There  was  no  tremor  in  the  lean  strong  hand  which  raised  the 
knocker  on  a  door  in  Baker  Street.  He  might  have  been  going  to 
a  triumph  instead  of  to  the  bitterest  of  humiliations.  And  it  might 
be  a  triumph,  after  all!  And  he  would  owe  it  to  me!  But  there  was 
little  enough  of  exultation  in  the  heart  which  pounded  savagely  as 
I  followed  him  upstairs,  my  fingers  gripped  tightly  round  the  life- 
preserver  in  my  pocket. 

"Two  gentlemen  to  see  you,  sir,"  wheezed  the  woman  who  had 
admitted  us.  "And  one  of  them,"  drawled  an  insufferably  affected 


THE    RUBY    OF    KHITMANDU  295 

voice,  as  we  walked  in,  "is  very  considerately  advertising  the  presence 
of  a  medium-sized  life-preserver  in  his  right  overcoat  pocket.  My 
dear  Watson,  if  you  must  wave  a  loaded  revolver  about,  might  I 
suggest  that  you  do  so  in  the  passage  ?  Thank  you.  It  is  certainly  safer 
in  your  pocket.  Well,  Mr.  Raffles,  have  you  brought  it?" 

Without  a  word,  Raffles  took  the  case  out,  and  handed  it  across 
to  Holmes.  As  Holmes  opened  it,  the  fellow  whom  he  had  addressed 
as  Watson  leaned  forward,  breadiing  noisily.  Criminals  though  we 
were,  I  could  not  repress  a  thrill  of  pride  as  I  contrasted  the  keen 
bronze  face  of  my  companion  with  the  yellow  cadaverous  counte- 
nance of  Holmes,  and  reflected  that  my  own  alas  indisputably  un- 
distinguished appearance  could  challenge  a  more  than  merely  favour- 
able comparison  with  the  mottled  complexion,  bleared  eyes,  and 
ragged  moustache  of  the  detective's  jackal. 

"A  beautiful  stone,  eh,  Watson?"  Holmes  remarked,  in  the  same 
maddening  drawl,  as  he  held  the  ruby  to  the  light.  "Well,  Mr.  Raffles, 
you  have  saved  me  a  good  deal  of  unnecessary  trouble.  The  prompti- 
tude with  which  you  have  bowed  to  the  inevitable  does  credit  to 
your  quite  exceptional  intelligence.  I  presume  that  you  will  have  no 
objection  to  my  submitting  this  stone  to  a  brief  examination?" 

"I  should  not  consider  that  you  were  fulfilling  your  duty  to  your 
client  if  you  neglected  such  an  elementary  precaution." 

It  was  perfectly  said,  but  then  was  it  not  Raffles  who  said  it?  And 
said  it  from  the  middle  of  the  shabby  bear-skin  rug,  his  legs  apart 
and  his  back  to  the  fire.  Now,  as  always,  the  center  of  die  stage  was 
his  at  will,  and  I  could  have  laughed  at  die  discomfited  snarl  with 
which  Holmes  rose,  and  picking  his  way  through  an  abominable 
litter  of  papers  disappeared  into  the  adjoining  room.  Three  minutes, 
which  seemed  to  me  like  twice  as  many  hours,  had  passed  by  the 
clock  on  the  mantelpiece,  when  the  door  opened  again.  Teeth  set, 
and  nerves  strung  ready,  I  was  yet,  even  in  this  supreme  moment, 
conscious  of  a  tension  in  Raffles  which  puzzled  me,  for  what  had 
he,  who  believed  the  stone  to  be  the  original  ruby,  to  fear?  The 
menacing  face  of  the  detective  brought  my  life-preserver  half  out  of 
my  pocket,  and  the  revolver  of  the  man  Watson  wholly  out  of  his. 
Then,  to  my  unutterable  relief,  Holmes  said,  "I  need  not  detain  you 
any  longer,  Mr.  Raffles.  But  one  word  in  parting.  Let  this  be  your 
last  visit  to  these  rooms." 


296  THE    RUBY    OF    KHITMANDU 

There  was  a  threat  in  the  slow-dropping  syllables  which  I  did  not 
understand,  and  would  have  resented,  had  I  had  room  in  my  heart 
for  any  other  emotion  than  an  overwhelming  exultation.  Through 
a  mist  I  saw  Raffles  incline  his  head  with  a  faintly  contemptuous 
smile.  And  I  remember  nothing  more,  till  we  were  in  the  open  street, 
and  the  last  sound  I  expected  startled  me  back  into  my  senses.  For 
Raffles  was  chuckling. 

"I'm  disappointed  in  the  man,  Bunny,"  he  murmured  with  a 
laugh.  "I  was  convinced  he  would  spot  it.  But  I  was  ready  for  him." 
"Spot  it?"  I  gasped,  fighting  an  impossible  suspicion. 
"Yes,  spot  the  dummy  which  my  innocent  rabbit  was  so  insultingly 
sure  was  the  one  and  only  Ruby  of  Khitmandu." 

"What!"  My  voice  rose  to  a  shriek.  "Do  you  mean  it  was  the 
dummy  which  was  in  the  marked  case?" 
He  spun  round  with  a  savage  "Of  course!" 
"But  you  said  it  was  the  real  one." 
"And  again,  of  course!" 

Suddenly  I  saw  it  all.  It  was  the  old,  old  wretched  story.  He  would 
trust  no  one  but  himself.  He  alone  could  bluff  Holmes  with  a 
dummy  stone.  So  he  had  tried  to  shake  me  off  with  the  lie  about 
restoring  the  real  stone.  And  my  unwitting  hand  had  turned  the  he 
to  truth!  As  I  reeled,  he  caught  my  arm. 

"You  fool!  You  infernal,  you  unutterable  fool!"  He  swung  me 
round  to  face  his  blazing  eyes.  "What  have  you  done?" 
"I  swapped  them  over.  And  be  damned  to  you!" 
"You  swapped  them  over?"  The  words  came  slowly  through 

clenched  teeth. 

"When  you  were  in  your  bedroom.  So  it  was  the  one  and  only 
ruby  you  gave  him  after  all,"  and  the  hand  that  was  raised  to  strike 
me  closed  on  my  mouth  as  I  struggled  to  release  the  wild  laughter 
which  was  choking  in  my  throat. 

CHAPTER  XVI 
(Dr.  Watson's  Narrative) 

I  must  confess  that  as  the  door  closed  on  Raffles  and  his  pitiful  con- 
federate I  felt  myself  completely  at  a  loss  to  account  for  the  un- 
expected turn  which  events  had  taken.  There  was  no  mistaking  the 


THE    RUBY    OF    KHITMANDU  297 

meaning  of  the  stern  expression  on  the  face  of  Holmes  when  he 
rejoined  us  after  examining  the  stone.  I  saw  at  once  that  his  surmise 
had  proved  correct,  and  that  Raffles  had  substituted  an  imitation 
ruby  for  the  original.  The  almost  laughable  agitation  with  which  the 
lesser  villain  pulled  out  his  life-preserver  at  my  friend's  entrance 
confirmed  me  in  this  supposition.  It  was  clear  to  me  that  he  was  as 
bewildered  as  myself  when  Holmes  dismissed  Raffles  instead  of  de- 
nouncing him.  Indeed,  his  gasp  of  relief  as  he  preceded  Raffles  out  of 
the  room  was  so  marked  as  to  bring  me  to  my  feet  with  an  ill- 
defined  impulse  to  rectify  the  extraordinary  error  into  which,  as  it 
seemed  to  me,  Holmes  had  been  betrayed. 

"Sit  down!"  Holmes  snapped,  with  more  than  his  usual  asperity. 
"But  Holmes!"  I  cried.  "Is  it  possible  you  do  not  realize  —  " 
"I  realize  that,  as  usual,  you  realize  nothing.  Take  this  stone.  Guard 
it  as  you  would  guard  the  apple  of  your  eye.  And  bring  it  to  me 
here  at  eight  to-morrow  morning." 
"But  Holmes,  I  don't  understand  —  " 

"I  have  no  time  to  discuss  the  limitations  of  your  intelligence." 
I  have  always  been  willing  to  make  allowances  for  my  friend's 
natural  impatience  with  a  less  active  intelligence  than  his  own. 
Nevertheless,  I  could  not  repress  a  feeling  of  mortification  as  he 
thrust  the  case  into  my  hand,  and  propelled  me  into  the  passage. 
But  the  night  air,  and  the  brisk  pace  at  which  I  set  out  down  Baker 
Street,  soon  served  to  restore  my  equanimity.  A  long  experience  of  my 
friend's  extraordinary  powers  had  taught  me  that  he  often  saw  clearly 
when  all  was  darkness  to  myself.  I  reflected  that  he  had  no  doubt 
some  excellent  reason  for  letting  the  villains  go.  No  man  could  strike 
more  swiftly  and  with  more  deadly  effect  than  Holmes,  but  equally 
no  man  knew  better  how  to  bide  his  time,  or  could  wait  more  patiently 
to  enmesh  his  catch  beyond  the  possibility  of  escape.  While  these 
thoughts  were  passing  through  my  mind,  I  had  been  vaguely  con- 
scious of  two  men  walking  ahead  of  me,  at  a  distance  of  about  a 
hundred  yards.  Suddenly  one  of  them  reeled,  and  would  have  fallen 
had  not  his  companion  caught  his  arm.  My  first  impression  was  that 
I  was  witnessing  the  spectacle,  alas  only  too  common  a  one  in  all 
great  cities,  of  two  drunken  men  assisting  each  other  homewards.  But 
as  I  observed  the  couple  in  pity  mingled  with  repulsion,  the  one  who 
had  caught  the  other's  arm  raised  his  hand  as  if  to  deliver  a  blow.  I 


298  THE    RUBY    OF    KHITMANDU 

felt  for  my  revolver,  and  was  about  to  utter  a  warning  shout,  when  I 
perceived  that  they  were  the  very  men  who  had  just  been  occupying 
my  thoughts.  The  need  for  caution  instantly  asserted  itself.  Halting, 
I  drew  out  my  pipe,  filled  it,  and  applied  a  match.  This  simple 
stratagem  enabled  me  to  collect  my  thoughts.  It  was  plain  that  these 
rascals  had  quarrelled.  I  recalled  the  familiar  adage  that  when  thieves 
fall  out  honest  men  come  by  their  own,  and  I  summoned  all  my 
powers  to  imagine  what  Holmes  would  do  in  my  place.  To  follow 
the  rogues  at  a  safe  distance,  and  act  as  the  development  of  the 
situation  required,  seemed  to  me  the  course  of  action  which  he  would 
pursue.  But  I  could  not  conceal  from  myself  that  his  view  of  what 
the  situation  might  require  would  probably  differ  materially  from 
my  own.  For  an  instant  I  was  tempted  to  hasten  back  to  him  with 
the  news  of  this  fresh  development.  But  a  moment's  reflection  con- 
vinced me  that  to  do  so  would  be  to  risk  the  almost  certain  loss  of 
my  quarry.  I  had  another,  and  I  fear  a  less  excusable,  motive  for  not 
returning.  The  brusquerie  of  my  dismissal  still  rankled  a  little.  It 
would  be  gratifying  if  I  could,  this  once,  show  my  imperious  friend 
that  I  was  capable  of  making  an  independent  contribution  to  the 
unravelling  of  a  problem.  I  therefore  quickened  my  steps,  and  soon 
diminished  the  distance  between  myself  and  my  quarry  to  about 
fifty  yards.  It  was  obvious  that  the  dispute  was  still  in  progress. 
Raffles  himself  maintained  a  sullen  silence,  but  the  excitable  voice 
and  gestures  of  his  accomplice  testified  that  the  quarrel,  whatever 
its  nature,  was  raging  with  unabated  vehemence. 

They  had  entered  Piccadilly,  and  I  was  still  at  their  heels,  when 
they  turned  abruptly  into  Albany  Courtyard.  By  a  fortunate  co- 
incidence I  had  for  some  weeks  been  visiting  the  Albany  in  my 
professional  capacity,  having  been  called  in  by  my  old  friend  General 
Macdonagh,  who  was  now  at  death's  door.  I  was  therefore  known 
to  the  commissionaire,  who  touched  his  hat  as  I  hastened  past  him. 
With  the  realization  that  this  was  where  Raffles  lived,  the  course 
of  action  I  should  adopt  became  clear  to  me.  He  had  the  latchkey 
in  his  door,  as  I  came  up. 

"By  Heavens!"  his  companion  cried.  "It's  Watson!" 
"Dr.  Watson,  if  you  please,  Bunny."  The  scoundrel  turned  to  me 
with  a  leer.  "This  is  indeed  a  charming  surprise,  Doctor." 


THE    RUBY    OF    KHITMANDU  299 

Ignoring  the  covert  insolence  of  the  man,  I  demanded  sternly  if 
he  would  accord  me  a  brief  audience  in  his  rooms. 

"But  of  course,  my  dear  Doctor.  Any  friend  of  Mr.  Holmes  is  our 
friend,  too.  You  will  excuse  me  if  I  lead  the  way." 

My  hand  went  to  my  revolver,  and  as  the  door  of  his  rooms  closed 
behind  us,  I  whipped  it  out,  at  the  same  time  producing  the  case 
which  contained  the  imitation  ruby. 

"Here  is  your  imitation  stone,"  I  cried,  tossing  the  case  on  to  the 
table.  "Hand  over  the  real  one,  or  I  shall  shoot  you  like  a  dog." 

Accomplished  villain  though  he  was,  he  could  not  repress  a  start 
of  dismay,  while  his  miserable  confederate  collapsed  on  a  sofa  with 
a  cry  of  horror. 

"This  is  very  abrupt,  Doctor,"  Raffles  said,  picking  the  case  up 
and  opening  it.  "May  I  ask  if  you  are  acting  on  the  instructions  of 
Mr.  Holmes?  It  is,  after  all,  with  Mr.  Holmes  that  I  am  dealing." 

"You  are  dealing  with  me  now.  That  is  the  only  fact  you  need  to 
grasp." 

"But  Mr.  Holmes  was  entirely  satisfied  with  the  stone  I  handed 

hit 
im. 

"I  am  not  here  to  argue.  Will  you  comply  with  my  request?" 

"It  is  disgraceful  of  Holmes  to  send  you  to  tackle  the  pair  of  us 
single-handed." 

"Mr.  Holmes,  you  blackguard!  And  he  knows  nothing  of  what 
I  am  doing." 

"Really  ?  Then  I  can  only  say  he  does  not  deserve  such  a  lieutenant. 
Well,  Bunny,  our  triumph  was,  I  fear,  a  little  premature." 

A  minute  later,  I  was  in  the  passage,  the  case  containing  the  gen- 
uine stone  in  my  breast  pocket.  Through  the  closed  door  there  rang 
what  I  took  to  be  the  bitter,  baffled  laugh  of  an  outwitted  scoundrel. 
In  general,  I  am  of  a  somewhat  sedate  temper,  but  it  was,  I  confess, 
in  a  mood  which  almost  bordered  on  exultation  that  I  drove  back  to 
Baker  Street,  and  burst  in  on  Holmes. 

"I've  got  it!  I've  got  it!"  I  cried,  waving  the  case. 

"Delirium  tremens?"  Holmes  enquired  coldly,  from  his  arm-chair. 
I  noticed  that  he  was  holding  a  revolver. 

"The  original  ruby,  Holmes!" 

With  a  bound  as  of  a  panther  Holmes  leaped  from  his  chair  and 


300  THE    RUBY    OF    KHITMANDU 

snatched  the  case  from  my  hand.  "You  idiot!"  he  snarled.  "What  have 

you  done?" 

Vexed  and  bewildered,  I  told  my  story,  while  Holmes  stared  at 
me  with  heaving  chest  and  flaming  eyes.  My  readers  will  have  guessed 
the  truth,  which  Holmes  flung  at  me  in  a  few  disconnected  sentences, 
interspersed  with  personal  observations  of  an  extremely  disparaging 
nature.  It  was  indeed  the  original  ruby  which  Raffles  had  brought 
with  him,  and  which  Holmes,  suspecting  that  Raffles  would  attempt 
to  retrieve  it  while  he  slept,  had  entrusted  to  my  keeping.  The  warn- 
ing which  Holmes  had  given  Raffles  not  to  visit  him  again  was 
now  explained,  as  was  also  the  vigil  with  a  loaded  revolver  on  which 
my  friend  had  embarked  when  I  burst  in  on  him. 

The  arrest  a  fortnight  later  of  Raffles  and  the  man  Bunny,  and  the 
restoration  of  the  famous  ruby  to  its  lawful  owner,  will  be  familiar 
to  all  readers  of  the  daily  papers.  During  this  period  the  extremely 
critical  condition  of  General  Macdonagh  engaged  my  whole  atten- 
tion. His  decease  was  almost  immediately  followed  by  the  unexpected 
deaths  of  two  other  patients,  and  in  the  general  pressure  of  these  sad 
events  I  was  unable  to  visit  Holmes  in  order  to  learn  from  his  own 
lips  the  inner  story  of  the  final  stages  in  this  remarkable  case. 


Detective:  SHERLOCK  HOLMES  Narrator:  WATSON 

HIS   LAST   SCRAPE:    or, 
Holmes,  Sweet  Holmes! 

by  RACHEL  FERGUSON 


Rachel  Ferguson's  NYMPHS  AND  SATIRES  (London,  Benn,  1932) 
is  a  veritable  encyclopaedia  of  parodies.  It  is  divided  into  six 
sections— Theatrical,  Vaudeville,  Musical,  Literary,  Verse,  and 
General.  It  was  inevitable  that  the  literary  section,  containing 
satires  on  George  Bernard  Shaw,  P.  G.  Wodehouse,  Elinor 
Glyn,  and  others,  should  also  include  a  burlesque  of  Sherloc{ 
Holmes  —  "with  unfading  gratitude  to  Conan  Doyle'  (which 
speaks  for  all  of  us). 

"His  Last  Scrape"  pac^s  an  enormous  amount  of  detail  into 
its  few  pages.  Here  is  no  leisurely  parody,  but  one  which,  to 
use  H.  Douglas  Thomson's  description  of  a  detective  short 
story,  "is  intensive,  and  with  so  little  time  to  spare  drives  at 
express  speed  to  the  final  issue." 

We  liked  especially  that  utterly  bewildering  moment  when 
Holmes  muttered:  "Impossible  —  AND  WHAT  OF  THE  SOUP?" 
And  who  could  resist,  in  the  final  two  words  of  the  parody, 
Miss  Ferguson's  delicious  pun  on  Doyle's  own  "Bruce -Par ting- 
ton  plans"? 


T 

L™ 


.IMES  are  dull,  Watson,"  said  Sherlock  Holmes  reflectively,  and 
taking  up  his  violin,  he  played  the  first  movement  from  Beethoven's 
Leonora  No.  3. 

"Come,  come,  Holmes!"  I  exclaimed.  "What  of  the  Welsh  Cottage, 
and  the  Supposed  Murder  of  the  Elderly  Aunt  by  Her  Fifteen-Year- 
Old  Niece?" 

Sherlock  Holmes  toyed  with  an  ounce  of  shag.  "A  simple  case  of 
probabilities,  Watson.  If  you  remember,  I  spent  a  weekend  in  a 


302  HIS    LAST    SCRAPE 

Shadwell  slaughter-house  sparring  with  a  saddle  of  beef  as  much 
heavier  than  myself  as  the  proportional  strength  of  a  hale  woman  of 
middle  age  and  a  child  in  her  teens.  Repeated  blows  upon  the  carcass 
resulted  in  no  more  than  a  slight  displacement  of  suet,  equivalent  to  an 
abrasion  of  the  human  skin,  and  in  no  wise  fatal.  The  deduction  was 
obvious.  There  was  another  factor  at  work  in  that  remote  cottage." 

He  strolled  to  the  window.  "There  is  a  man  coming  down  Baker 
Street,"  he  murmured.  "I  can  see  that  he  has  no  wife,  lives  on  clay 
soil  and  is  a  vegetarian  —  but  let  him  tell  us  his  story."  Before  I 
had  time  to  interject:  "Holmes,  this  is  witchcraft!"  the  bell  rang 
below.  Our  visitor  was  a  man  of  middle  height  in  a  derby  and  check 
suit.  "Pray  be  seated,"  said  Holmes.  "I  perceive  you  to  be  absent- 
minded  to  the  point  of  aberration,  of  solitary  habits,  and  that  you 
have  recently  become  engaged  to  be  married." 

"I  am  indeed,  sir,"  answered  the  worthy  fellow.  Then  his  simple 
face  clouded  with  astonishment.  "But  how  did  you  know  that,  Mr. 
Holmes?" 

"Come,  come,"  replied  my  friend,  "when  a  man  enters  my  rooms 
and  hands  me  his  railway-ticket  instead  of  his  visiting-card,  he  is  a 
man  whose  thoughts  are  elsewhere.  Had  you  been  of  convivial  bent 
you  would  beyond  question  invest  in  a  season  ticket  up  to  London. 
This  is  a  Third  return.  The  Mizpah  ring  upon  your  ringer  suggests 
amorous  entanglement;  from  the  fact  that  it  is  brand-new  the  de- 
duction that  the  affair  is  of  recent  date  is  child's  play." 

Accustomed  as  I  am  to  the  methods  of  my  friend,  I  too  was  quick 
to  grasp  these  details  almost  as  soon  as  Holmes  had  pointed  them  out. 

"My  name  is  Jarvis,"  began  our  visitor.  "My  father  died  leaving 
the  bulk  of  his  considerable  wealth,  together  with  Whytings,  his 
country-seat,  to  my  twin  brother  and  myself.  Under  the  terms  of  his 
will,  whichever  of  us  marries  first  enters  into  sole  possession,  the 
only  stipulation  being  that  the  lady  shall  be  of  British  birth.  Five 
years  ago,  my  brother,  Ambrose,  returned  from  Ceylon  a  hopeless 
invalid;  he  had  lost  a  limb  whilst  scaling  a  tea-plant,  and  is  bed- 
ridden. I  confess  to  some  annoyance  at  the  prospect  of  the  upset  to 
my  ordered  life  entailed  by  the  presence  of  one  who  is  practically  a 
stranger  to  me.  But,  once  settled  in,  he  proved  an  acceptable  inmate, 
until  last  summer.  In  the  August  of  that  year  a  snake  fell  on  my 
head  as  I  was  ordering  lunch  —  " 


HIS    LAST    SCRAPE  3°3 

"What  sort  of  a  snake?"  said  Holmes  sharply,  joining  his  finger 

tips  together. 

"A  small  one,  with  diamond  markings." 
Holmes  chuckled  softly.  "Pray  continue,  Mr.  Jarvis,  you  interest 

me  enormously." 

"In  September  began  the  horrible  disturbances  in  the  beech- 
grove  - 

"Hah!"  exclaimed  Holmes,  his  sallow  cheeks  sharp  with  excite- 
ment, "and  what  time  do  these  manifestations  take  place?" 

"At  nine  o'clock  regularly  every  evening." 

"And  what  time  do  you  dine?" 

"At  seven." 

"Capital,"  said  Holmes,  relaxing,  "you  would  make  an  excellent 

witness!  Pray  continue." 

"I  can  keep  no  servants.  The  house  has  got  an  unsavoury  reputa- 
tion. My  household  now  consists  of  a  Burman,  a  Thug  and  a  Dervish 
—  retainers  of  my  brother." 

Holmes  rose.  "Your  problem  offers  novel  features,  though  of  course 
in  these  cases  the  element  of  surprise  is  practically  nil." 

As  he  spoke  he  put  on  his  Inverness  and  deerstalker.  "Watson, 
there  is  a  Promenade  concert  at  the  Queen's  Hall  in  ten  minutes. 
After  that,  we  can  just  catch  the  eleven-thirty  to  Slopshire." 

Whytings,  not  a  large  place,  lies  in  an  arm  of  the  Slopshire  hills, 
squat  and  slightly  sinister. 

"Welcome,"  said  our  simple  host.  But  Holmes  was  already  upon 
his  knees.  He  was  not  praying;  he  is,  I  believe,  a  Freethinker,  a  Pan- 
aesthetist  (his  little  monograph  upon  Religions  in  the  Swamps  of 
Central  America  is  a  minor  classic). 

During  the  next  few  days  all  fell  out  as  our  host  had  related.  The 
disturbances  occurred  punctually  every  evening.  On  the  fourth  day 
there  was  a  new  development :  the  native  staff  disappeared. 

"With  them  vanishes  the  mystery  of  the  beech-grove,  gentlemen," 
said  Holmes.  He  had  spent  that  morning  in  throwing  a  loaded 
basket  up  at  the  invalid's  bedroom  window.  The  path,  littered  with 
plates,  resembled  a  china  shop  in  an  earthquake.  "Impossible  -  "  he 
muttered  —  "AND  WHAT  OF  THE  SOUP?"  I  confess  I  was  a  little  net- 
tled at  this  want  of  confidence.  He  now  looked  up  from  his  minute 


304  HIS    LAST    SCRAPE 

examination  of  the  floor,  and  closed  his  lens.  "We  have  nothing  to 
learn  here.  We  will  now  proceed  to  your  brother's  room,  Mr.  Jarvis." 

Suddenly  he  clapped  his  hand  to  his  nose.  "Dear  me,  gentlemen," 
he  observed,  "my  nose  is  bleeding;  may  I  trouble  you  for  your  hand- 
kerchiefs ?  Mine,  as  you  perceive,  is  already  inadequate.  Thank  you." 

As  we  sat  and  chatted  to  the  invalid,  Holmes  was  seized  with  a 
paroxysm  of  sneezing.  The  fretful  cripple  proffered  his  handkerchief 
—  we  had  all  searched  our  pockets  in  vain.  Holmes  groped  for  it 
and  put  it  to  his  streaming  eyes.  Then  he  rose  to  his  feet. 

"The  game  is  up,  Mr.  Ambrose  Jarvis,"  he  said  grimly.  "You  have 
been  getting  through  a  lot  of  reading  lately." 

The  result  of  this  simple  statement  astonished  us.  The  one-legged 
ex-tea-planter  sprang  out  of  bed  and  fell  upon  Holmes. 

"Watch  the  book-case,  Watson!"  yelled  Holmes.  The  bogus  crip- 
ple drew  back,  ashen.  "I  give  up,"  he  said,  and  collapsed. 

"It  is  as  well,  my  friend,"  said  Holmes. 

Striding  to  the  book-case  he  cried,  "Madam,  you  can  come  out, 
nobody  will  harm  you!" 

I  think  we  were  all  prepared  for  some  apparition  of  horror;  it 
was  with  a  feeling  of  stupefaction  that  we  witnessed  the  emerging 
from  the  concealed  room  the  shelf  had  so  cunningly  masked  of  a 
charming  Indian  lady! 

"As  simple  a  case  as  I  have  yet  been  concerned  with,"  remarked 
Sherlock  Holmes  as  we  reclined  in  our  rooms  in  Baker  Street.  "Let 
me  reconstruct  it  for  you.  Here  we  have  two  brothers;  one  has 
travelled  much  in  the  East.  He  learns  of  his  father's  death  and  of 
the  terms  of  his  will  —  as  nice  an  incentive  to  crime  as  was  ever  framed 
by  lawyers!  The  snake  put  me  on  the  trail;  those  diamond  markings 
are  peculiar  to  certain  tracts  of  Ceylon;  this  reptile  is  not  indigenous  to 
our  isles.  This  brother  returns,  then,  and  tries  by  every  means  to  rid 
himself  of  his  rival.  Why?  Why  should  he  fear  his  brother  if  he 
himself  has  played  the  game?  Is  not  this  suggestive?  It  is  a  workable 
hypothesis  to  assume  that  he  has  contracted  an  alliance  with  a  native 
lady.  Where  was  she  concealed?  That,  for  me,  was  the  root  of  the 
problem." 

"But  the  disturbances,  Holmes?" 

"Bunkum.  Rockets,  lanterns,  native  war-cries.  The  storm-centre 


HIS    LAST    SCRAPE  3<>5 

was  within.  Why  did  they  occur  at  nine  every  night?  Obviously  this 
punctuality  pointed  to  the  fact  that  it  was  essential  at  a  fixed  hour  to 
distract  the  attention  of  our  client  to  the  grounds.  What  hours  are 
so  fixed  as  those  of  meals?  The  brothers  dine  at  seven.  The  dis- 
turbances occur  at  nine.  When  you  caught  me  throwing  a  basket 
up  at  the  window  I  was  endeavouring  to  ascertain  if  it  were  pos- 
sible for  confederates  to  cast  sustenance  into  the  house  from  without. 
The  result  showed  me  it  was  not.  Therefore  the  food  was  delivered 
from  inside.  Any  doubts  I  might  have  had  were  set  at  rest  after  I 
had  secured  the  native  servants  in  the  larder.  The  disturbances  in- 
stantly ceased,  which  pointed  to  human  agency.  The  dust  on  the 
floor  of  the  invalid's  bedroom  accumulated,  and  enabled  me  to  per- 
ceive with  the  naked  eye  the  prints  of  two  bare  feet  going  in  the 
direction  of  the  book-case.  With  regard  to  the  nose-bleeding,"  he 
added  with  a  smile,  "I  plead  guilty.  I  was  seeking  the  feminine  touch. 
To  do  this,  it  was  necessary  to  confiscate  all  available  male  handker- 
chiefs in  the  house,  for  I  knew  that  you,  with  your  lovable  density, 
would  give  the  game  away  by  offering  me  your  own.  The  handker- 
chief lent  me  by  our  'one-legged'  friend  put  the  finishing  touch.  It  was 
heavy  with  hibiscus  perfume  — very  popular  among  the  ladies  of 
Colombo.  These  trifles  —  these  trefles  I  might  call  them,  should  not 
be  overlooked. 
"And  now  let  us  turn  our  attention  to  the  affair  of  the  missing 

Booth  Tarkington  proofs." 


Detective:  SHERLOCK  HOLMES 


Narrator:  WATSON 


THE  ADVENTURE  OF  THE 
MURDERED  ART  EDITOR 

by  FREDERIC  DORR  STEELE 


Frederic  Dorr  Steele  is  the 
most  distinguished  Amer- 
ican illustrator  of  Sher- 
lock^ Holmes.  On  second 
thought,  we  can  safely 
cross  out  the  word  "Amer- 
ican." Worshipers  at  the 
shrine  of  Sherloc\  will  al- 
ways owe  a  huge  vote  of 
thanks  to  that  inspired  art 
director  of  "Collier's"  who 
first  commissioned  Fred- 
eric Dorr  Steele  to  draw 
those  splendid  magazine 
illustrations. 

If  there  is  one  fly  in  the 
inkpot,  if  there  is  one  smudge  on  the  brush,  it  is  the  profound 
regret  that  Mr.  Steele  has  illustrated  only  jo  of  the  60  Sherloc\ 
Holmes  stories  in  print.  We  fervently  hope  that  when  the  newly 
discovered  short  story,  "The  Man  Who  Was  Wanted"  is  finally 
released  for  publication  it  will  be  the  "hand  of  Steele"  that  de- 
picts the  great  manhunter. 

Shortly  before  THE  MISADVENTURES  went  to  press,  your  Editors 
purchased  an  original  drawing  of  Sherloc\  Holmes  from  Mr. 
Steele.  The  illustration  is  one  almost  unknown  even  to  the 
inner  circle:  a  large  blue-white-and-blact^  drawing  of  Holmes 
and  Watson  examining  the  dead  body  of  Selden  under  the 
"cold,  clear  moon"  of  the  Devonshire  moor.  This  superb  piece 
of  worl^  was  done  in  /pjp  for  Twentieth  Century  Fox,  to  ad- 


THE    ADVENTURE    OF    THE    MURDERED    ART    EDITOR       307 

vertise  the  motion-picture  version  of  THE  HOUND  OF  THE  BASKER- 
VILLES,  starring  Basil  Rathbone  and  Nigel  Bruce. 

When  the  drawing  arrived,  your  Editors  dranJ^  it  in.  Then 
we  noticed  a  queer  thing  about  it:  the  deer  stalker  ed  head  of 
Sherloc^  was  drawn  on  an  irregular  piece  of  board  pasted  into 
the  larger  board.  Scenting  a  mystery  ("The  Adventure  of  the 
Second  Head"),  we  as\ed  Mr.  Steele  if  he  remembered  any 
tidbit  of  history  connected  with  that  paste-in. 

"No"  he  said,  "nothing  at  all  interesting" 

"You  simply  didn't  like  the  first  head  you  drew"  we  said, 
"•and  replaced  it  with  a  second  one  before  sending  the  drawing 
to  Twentieth  Century  Fox?" 

"Oh,  no"  Mr.  Steele  replied.  "I  drew  that  new  head  only  a 
wee\  ago  —  just  before  sending  it  to  you." 

It  too{  a  few  moments  for  Mr.  Steele' s  soft-spoken  and  al- 
most casual  reply  to  sin\  in.  Then  we  grasped  the  full  impli- 
cations. Long  after  the  drawing  had  been  finished,  years  after 
it  had  served  its  commercial  purpose,  four  years  in  fact  after 
it  had  been  bought  and  paid  for  by  Twentieth  Century  Fox, 
Mr.  Steele  was  still  wording  on  it,  still  improving  it  —  and  for 
no  other  reason  than  the  sheer  love  of  his  subject!  And  Mr. 
Steele  thought  there  was  nothing  interesting  about  that! 

Can  you  conceive  of  a  more  revealing  anecdote  about  Mr. 
Steele?  Do  you  realize  now  the  enormous  and  enduring  affec- 
tion Mr.  Steele  must  have  for  that  extraordinary  figment  of 
the  imagination  \nown  in  every  noo{  of  the  world  as  Sherloc^ 
Holmes? 

"The  Adventure  of  the  Murdered  Art  Editor"  appeared  first 
in  SPOOFS  (New  Yor\,  McBride,  1933),  edited  by  Richard  But- 
ler Glaenzer.  Mr.  Steele  wrote  two  other  parody-pastiches  of 
his  favorite  fiction  hero: 

"The  Adventure  of  the  Missing  Hatrac{"  in  "The  Players 
Bulletin"  issue  of  October  75,  7926;  reprinted  in  THE 
PLAYERS'  BOOK,  a  volume  published  in  1938,  the  $oth  year  of 
the  Club. 

"The  Attempted  Murder  of  Malcolm  Duncan"  in  "The 
Players  Bulletin"  issue  of  June  i,  1932. 


308      THE    ADVENTURE    OF  'THE    MURDERED    ART    EDITOR 


I 


T  WAS  on  a  dark,  misting  day  in  March  1933,  that  Sherlock  Holmes 
stamped  into  our  lodgings  in  Baker  Street,  threw  off  his  dripping 
raincoat  and  sank  into  an  armchair  by  the  fire,  his  head  bowed  for- 
ward in  deepest  dejection. 

At  length  he  spoke.  "Of  all  the  cases  we  have  had  to  deal  with, 
Watson,  none  touches  us  more  nearly  than  this."  He  tossed  over  a 
damp  copy  of  the  Mail,  with  an  American  despatch  reading  as  fol- 
lows: 

ARTIST  SUSPECTED  OF  MURDER 

New  York,  March  27.  (AP)  The  partially  dismembered  body  of 
Elijah  J.  Grootenheimer  was  found  today  in  a  canvas-covered  box 
which  had  been  left  on  the  curb  in  loth  Street  near  the  East  River. 
The  face  had  been  horribly  mutilated  by  beating  with  some  blunt 
instrument.  Identification  was  made  by  means  of  a  letter  in  the 
pocket  of  the  dead  man's  coat,  addressed  to  him  and  signed  Frederic 
Dorr  Steele.  The  police  decline  to  give  out  the  contents  of  this  letter, 
but  intimate  that  it  was  threatening  in  tone.  Steele  is  an  artist  well 
known  for  his  pictures  illustrating  Sherlock  Holmes  and  other  mys- 
tery tales,  and  it  is  thought  that  brooding  over  these  stories  may 
have  affected  his  mind.  The  motive  of  the  crime  clearly  was  not  rob- 
bery, since  $4.80  in  cash  and  a  valuable  ticket  for  the  Dutch  Treat 
Show  were  found  undisturbed  in  his  pockets.  Steele's  last  known 
address  was  a  garret  in  East  loth  Street.  Search  has  been  made  for 
him  in  his  usual  haunts,  but  thus  far  without  success. 

"Ah,  but  this  is  incredible  —  impossible!"  I  exclaimed.  "Poor  Steele 
wouldn't  hurt  a  fly." 

We  sat  in  silence  for  a  time,  drawn  together  by  our  common 
anxiety.  From  time  to  time  during  some  thirty  years,  beginning  with 
"The  Return  of  Sherlock  Holmes,"  this  Steele  had  been  making  il- 
lustrations for  my  little  narratives.  Though  an  American,  he  seemed 
a  decent  unobjectionable  fellow  who  did  his  work  conscientiously, 
and  we  had  grown  rather  fond  of  him.  His  naive  simplicity  and 
quaint  American  speech  amused  Holmes,  who  relished  oddities 
among  human  beings  in  all  walks  of  life. 

"I  can't  make  it  out,"  I  said.  "What  does  it  all  mean?" 


THE    ADVENTURE    OF    THE    MURDERED    ART    EDITOR       309 

"It  means,  my  dear  Watson,"  said  Holmes  briskly,  dragging  out 
his  old  kit  bag,  "that  you  and  I  must  catch  the  Berengaria  at  South- 
ampton tomorrow  morning." 

We  had  fine  weather  as  we  sped  westward.  Holmes  spent  most 
of  his  waking  hours  pacing  the  deck,  looking  in  now  and  again  at 
the  radio  room  for  news  — of  which  there  was  none.  His  nerves 
were  as  usual  under  iron  control,  but  little  indications  of  strain  were 
plain  to  me  who  knew  him  so  well;  as  for  example  when  he  ab- 
stractedly poured  his  glass  of  wine  into  the  captain's  soup  plate,  or 
when,  on  the  boat  deck,  he  suddenly  picked  up  Lady  Buxham's 
Pekinese  and  hurled  it  over  the  rail  into  the  sea. 

"Steady,  Holmes,"  I  said  stanchly.  "You  must  give  yourself  more 

rest." 
"I  cannot  rest,  Watson,"  he  said,  "until  we  have  probed  this  hideous 

mystery  to  the  bottom." 

"Have  you  a  theory?"  I  asked.  "Surely  you  don't  believe  that  that 
poor  fellow  has  murdered  an  editor  in  cold  blood!" 

"Hot  or  cold,  the  thing  is  possible,"  said  Holmes  crisply.  "It  is 
well  known  that  editors,  especially  art  editors,  are  usually  scoundrels, 
and  sometimes  able  scoundrels,  which  makes  them  more  dangerous 
to  society.  It  is  conceivable  that  our  poor  artist,  after  a  lifetime  of 
dealing  with  them,  may  have  come  to  the  end  of  his  patience.  Even 
a  worm  —  "  He  broke  oft  moodily  and  resumed  his  pacing  of  the 
deck. 

When  we  reached  New  York,  and  Holmes  had  suffered  with  ill- 
disguised  impatience  the  formal  civilities  of  the  Mayor's  Committee 
for  Distinguished  Guests,  we  established  ourselves  in  a  hotel  where 
English  travelers  had  told  us  we  might  be  assured  of  finding  food 
properly  prepared.  But  without  waiting  for  even  a  kipper  and  a 
pot  of  tea,  Holmes  disappeared,  and  I  did  not  see  him  again  for  three 
days. 

When  he  reappeared  he  looked  haggard  and  worn.  "I  have  seen 
the  garret  studio,"  he  said. 

"Have  you  a  clue  to  Steele's  whereabouts?"  I  asked. 

"A  small  one,"  he  returned.  "In  fact,  just  sixteen  millimeters  long." 
He  produced  from  his  wallet  a  bit  of  cinema  film.  "I  found  it  on  the 
floor,  Watson.  What  do  you  make  of  it?" 


310      THE    ADVENTURE    OF    THE    MURDERED    ART    EDITOR 

I  held  it  to  the  light.  "Well,  I  see  a  picture  of  a  little  girl  and  some 
queer-looking  structures  like  giant  mouse-traps  behind  her." 

"Those  mouse-traps,  Watson,  are  lobster  pots,  and  of  a  type  peculiar 
to  the  coast  of  Maine.  WTe  are  on  the  track  of  our  man." 

On  a  foggy  day  in  May  our  motor  boat  crunched  against  the 
barnacle-covered  timbers  of  the  wharf  at  a  small  wooded  island,  on 
which  stood  perhaps  twoscore  bare  gray  buildings.  Holmes  wasted 
no  time.  To  the  leather-visaged  lobsterman  who  had  caught  our  bow 
line  he  said,  "Sir,  we  are  in  quest  of  a  certain  artist,  said  to  reside 
somewhere  on  your  most  picturesque  coast.  Do  you  know  of  any 
artist  on  this  island?" 

"Well,  we  used  to  know  one,  but  he  ain't  any  artist  any  longer.  He 
itches  all  the  time." 

"Itches!"  I  said.  "Perhaps,  Holmes,  that  may  be  our  man.  He  has 
a  nervous  temperament.  He  may  have  developed  hives  or  some  such 
ailment." 

"Splendid,  Watson.  Your  deduction  is  sound,  but  it  is  based  on 
an  incorrect  pronunciation." 

"But  I  don't  see  —  "  I  began. 

"You  never  see,  my  good  Watson,"  said  Holmes  with  a  touch  of 
asperity. 

"He  lives  down  in  that  shack  by  the  Cove,"  said  the  lobsterman. 
"But  if  you  callate  to  go  down  there  you  want  to  be  careful.  He  bites." 

"Bites!"  I  said  in  amazement. 

"Yeah.  Sid,  here,  was  down  there  yesterday,  with  a  mess  o'  tinkers, 
and  got  chased  out.  He  said  he  was  biting.  I  guess  he's  gone  kind 
o'  nutty-like,  seems  though." 

"Is  his  name  by  any  chance  Steele?"  asked  Holmes. 

"Seems  like  it  was.  But  he  calls  himself  Seymour  Haden  now." 

"Seymour  Haden!"  I  exclaimed.  "That  is  the  name  of  a  great 
etcher." 

"Precisely,"  said  Holmes  dryly.  "He  used  to  itch  too." 

Dreading  a  possible  shock  to  our  friend's  mind,  we  approached 
him  cautiously.  He  sat  at  a  table  in  his  little  house,  bent  over  a  metal 
plate  immersed  in  some  villainous  blue  acid. 

"Do  you  know  us,  Steele?"  I  asked  timidly. 


THE    ADVENTURE    OF    THE    MURDERED    ART    EDITOR       3!! 

After  a  moment  he  turned  his  head  toward  us  and  we  saw  a  wild 
gleam  in  his  bloodshot  eyes.  His  disheveled  hair  and  beard  and  his 
grimy  clothes  made  him  uncouth,  even  repulsive  in  appearance.  "I 
can't  get  up  now.  I'm  biting  a  plate,"  he  said. 

"Another  mystery  solved,"  observed  Holmes  quietly. 

"Don't  you  know  us  ?"  I  repeated.  "We  have  come  all  the  way  from 
London  to  find  you." 

"Sure  I  know  you.  You  probably  want  me  to  illustrate  another 
crime.  I  killed  a  man  for  less  than  that,"  said  the  artist  vehemently. 

"I  daresay.  I  daresay,"  Holmes  said  soothingly.  "But  we're  not 
hunting  crimes  now.  We  just  want  to  help  you." 

"But  you  can't  help  me!"  he  shouted.  "I  have  been  a  doomed  man 
for  thirty  years.  Ever  since  I  began  making  pictures  for  your  damned 
stories,  those  editors  have  called  me  a  crime  artist.  No  matter  what 
else  I  do,  they  still  try  to  feed  me  raw  blood.  But  I  got  square  with 
'em.  They  made  a  criminal  of  me,  and  now,  by  Heaven,  I've  com- 
mitted a  perfect  crime  on  one  of  them.  And  there  are  more  to  come, 
Mr.  Holmes,  more  to  come!" 

After  this  outburst  he  turned  his  back  on  us  again. 

"Come,  come,"  said  Holmes  gently,  "we  mustn't  get  excited.  Think 
a  minute.  Is  that  why  you  have  come  off  here  and  left  all  your  friends 
—  hidden  from  the  world?" 

"Yes,  Mr.  Holmes.  And  that  is  why  I  have  had  this  old  well  cleaned 
out:  I  am  going  to  fill  it  with  editors'  blood.  It  will  take  quite  a  lot 
of  editors  to  fill  it,  but  I  have  hopes." 

We  saw  that  it  was  useless  to  pursue  the  conversation  further  and 
rose  to  depart. 

"Well,  then,  go  take  a  walk,"  he  said,  "take  the  path  straight  over 
Light  House  Hill  to  White  Head.  After  that  you'd  better  come  back 
here.  I  can  give  you  a  crust  and  perhaps  a  bit  of  short  lobster  if 
you're  not  too  legally  minded." 

We  crossed  the  island  to  the  cliffs  and  stood  for  a  time  looking  into 
the  blue  haze.  "Strange,  isn't  it,  Watson,"  Holmes  reflected,  "that 
crime  and  madness  can  lurk  in  so  peaceful  a  spot.  ...  I  hate  to  do  it, 
but  I  must  question  him  further." 

"But  I  say,  Holmes,  would  it  be  quite  sporting,"  I  protested,  "now 
that  we  are  his  guests?"  But  Holmes  was  resolute. 
When  we  returned  to  the  little  house  at  sunset,  we  found  its  owner 


312      THE    ADVENTURE    OF    THE    MURDERED    ART    EDITOR 

composed.  We  talked  quietly  together  of  his  life  on  the  island,  where, 
he  said,  he  meant  to  end  his  days.  Only  one  subject  seemed  to  bring 
on  a  return  of  abnormality,  —  the  subject  of  editors. 

"There  is  a  big  cavern  up  the  shore,"  he  said,  "that  I've  got  rilled 
solid  full  of  dynamite.  There's  a  big  boulder  over  it,  and  if  an  editor 
ever  comes  to  this  island,  I'm  going  to  pry  it  loose.  .  .  ." 

"But  these  editors,"  said  Holmes  gently.  "Aren't  they  human  be- 
ings?" 

"Not  after  they  become  editors,"  was  the  reply.  "They  are  machines. 
Machines  that  buy  merchandise  by  the  yard,  put  it  in  pigeon  holes, 
label  it.  .  .  ." 

"Look  here,  my  dear  fellow,"  said  Holmes,  "you  are  happy  here, 
aren't  you?  You  are  not  bloodthirsty  about  other  people  —  fishermen 
for  example?" 

"Oh,  no." 

"Well,  then,  I  think  Watson  and  I  will  go  back  to  England  and 
leave  you  in  peace.  You  will  be  safe  here.  No  one  need  ever  know." 

Two  weeks  later  we  were  back  in  the  old  rooms  in  Baker  Street. 
There  had  been  no  further  developments  in  the  Grootenheimer  case. 
The  police  had  given  up  the  search  for  the  missing  artist,  and  now 
thought  that  the  editor  might  have  been  killed  by  some  Modernist 
or  other  deranged  person. 

But  Holmes's  watchful  eye  had  caught  this  curious  PERSONAL  ad- 
vertisement in  the  New  Yorf(  Times:  "WANTED,  an  Art  Editor,  as 
companion  for  a  summer  vacation  in  Maine.  All  expenses  paid. 
Must  be  full-blooded  American." 

"Poor  soul,"  I  said  musingly,  "no  doubt  his  sorrows  have  driven 
him  mad.  But  somehow  I  am  not  convinced  that  his  crime  is  real. 
It  may  be  entirely  imaginary." 

"Quite,"  said  Holmes. 

"No  one  could  blame  him,  of  course." 

"Hardly." 


Detective:  SHIRLEY  HOLMES        Narrator:  JOAN  WATSON 

THE  CANTERBURY  CATHEDRAL 

MURDER 

by  FREDERIC  ARNOLD  KUMMER 
and  BASIL  MITCHELL 


Here  is  one  of  the  most  daring  "pastiches"  ever  to  claim  ad- 
mission to  the  Sacred  Canon.  In  this  story  —  hold  your  hat! — 
Sherloc^  Holmes  is  in  effect  a  woman! 

We  can  than{  two  authors,  one  an  Englishman,  the  other  an 
American,  for  this  amazing  state  of  affairs.  The  hands-across- 
the-sea  collaboration  postulates  that  Holmes  has  married  and  is 
now  blessed  with  a  grown-up  daughter;  that  her  name,  most 
appropriately,  is  Shirley  Holmes;  that  quite  naturally  Shirley 
follows  in  the  footsteps  of  her  illustrious  father;  that  just  as 
naturally  her  adventures,  memoirs,  and  cases  are  recorded  by 
none  other  than  the  daughter  of  Dr.  John  Watson,  named  with 
equal  appropriateness  Joan  Watson! 

Shirley  Holmes  first  appeared  in  print  in  THE  ADVENTURE  OF 
THE  QUEEN  BEE,  a  four-part  serial  in  "Mystery"  magazine,  issues 
of  July,  August,  September,  and  October  1933.  This  tale  was 
adapted  by  Frederic  Arnold  Kummer  from  the  London  stage 
play  by  Basil  Mitchell,  which  was  produced  with  the  consent 
and  approval  of  Lady   Conan  Doyle.  The  debut  of  Shirley 
Holmes,  in  drama  and  novelette,  was  so  successful  that  she  "re- 
turned" (again  emulating  her  famous  father}  in  the  December 
1933  issue  of  the  same  magazine  —  and  it  is  this  return  engage- 
ment we  now  bring  you. 

Gentlemen,  the  Sherlocfyan  stag-party  is  over  .  .  .  We  wel- 
come the  one  and  only  feminine  facsimile  of  The  Great  Man  to 
our  innermost  circle. 


314  THE    CANTERBURY    CATHEDRAL    MURDER 


A, 


.s  SHIRLEY  HOLMES  and  I  descended  the  steps  of  the  North  Tran- 
sept at  Canterbury  Cathedral  she  suddenly  seized  my  arm. 

"Look,  Joan!"  she  whispered.  "There!  On  the  slab!"  ' 

I  peered  through  the  stained-glass  gloom  ahead  of  us,  my  heart 
pounding.  Even  though  the  celebrated  murder  of  Thomas  a  Becket 
was  a  seven-century-old  affair,  the  ancient  stone  which  is  popularly 
supposed  to  mark  the  spot  where  he  perished  still  attracts  many  sight- 
seers, some  of  whom  make  a  practice  of  prostrating  themselves  upon 
it  in  silent  devotion.  There  was  a  figure  lying  on  the  slab  now  .  .  . 
the  figure  of  a  man,  and  but  for  a  certain  grotesqueness  in  his  attitude 
I  might  have  supposed  him  to  be  merely  one  of  these  pious  pilgrims, 
paying  his  respects  to  the  sainted  bishop.  But  the  moment  my  eyes 
fell  upon  his  sprawling  form  I  drew  back,  shuddering,  striving  to  re- 
main as  calm  as  Shirley. 

He  was  a  young  man,  clean-shaven,  with  rather  long,  untidy  hair. 
The  soft  white  shirt  beneath  his  tweed  sports  jacket  was  open  at  the 
neck;  his  wrinkled  flannel  trousers,  his  scuffed  and  dusty  shoes,  sug- 
gested the  tourist,  the  hiker. 

I  did  not,  however,  grasp  all  these  details  in  that  first  terrified  in- 
stant. Shirley  still  held  my  arm  in  her  slim,  strong  grasp. 

"Don't  scream!"  she  commanded,  her  voice  reassuringly  cool.  A 
moment  later  we  were  bending  over  the  figure. 

He  lay  on  his  breast,  with  his  head  turned  to  one  side.  His  right 
arm  was  doubled  under  him,  his  left  outstretched,  and  in  his  left  hand 
he  clutched  a  small,  open  notebook.  I  saw  Shirley's  finger  tips  rest 
for  an  instant  upon  that  inert  wrist,  then  she  stood  up,  her  eyes  nar- 
rowing. 

"Joan!"  she  murmured,  glancing  swiftly  about.  "You'd  better  fetch 
somebody  .  .  .  quick!" 

I  ran  up  the  stone  steps,  my  brain  whirling.  As  the  more  or  less 
modest  chronicler  of  Shirley  Holmes's  adventures  I  had  complained 
to  her  only  that  morning  of  the  dullness  of  life  since  her  amazing  ex- 
ploits in  the  case  of  the  stolen  Queen  Bee,  but  I  am  quite  sure  that 
neither  of  us  expected  to  come  upon  anything  exciting  in  the  course 
of  a  peaceful  afternoon's  visit  to  Canterbury  Cathedral.  I  glanced 


THE    CANTERBURY    CATHEDRAL    MURDER  315 

about  the  dim  old  building,  wondering  to  whom  I  had  best  apply 
for  help. 

Not  far  away  I  saw  the  verger,  holding  forth  on  the  martyrdom  of 
the  unfortunate  Becket  to  a  group  of  visiting  tourists.  I  went  up  to 
him,  managed  to  attract  his  attention. 

"If  you  please!"  I  said.  "I'd  like  to  speak  to  you.  .  .  ." 

The  verger  frowned.  It  annoyed  him  to  have  his  little  lecture  in- 
terrupted. 

"What  about,  miss?"  he  asked  gruffly. 

"There  .  .  .  there's  been  an  accident!"  I  whispered.  "You'd  best 
come  at  once!" 

Still  frowning,  the  verger  turned  the  group  over  to  one  of  his  as- 
sistants and  accompanied  me  back  to  the  point  where  Shirley  stood. 

"What's  the  trouble  here?"  he  grumbled. 

Shirley  glanced  up;  I  thought  her  face,  in  the  shadows,  unusually 
white. 

"This  man  has  been  stabbed  through  the  heart!"  she  said  quietly. 
"He's  dead!" 

"What?"  The  verger's  jaw  sagged;  in  his  astonishment  his  voice 
became  a  mere  squeak.  "Dead!  Good  God."  He  ran  swiftly  down  the 
short  flight  of  steps.  "How  did  it  happen?" 

"I  haven't  the  least  idea,"  Shirley  replied  calmly.  "Miss  Watson  and 
I  —  "  she  glanced  at  me  —  "found  him  lying  here  a  few  moments  ago. 
He  hasn't  been  dead  very  long  ...  the  body  is  still  warm.  I  advise 
you  to  send  for  a  doctor  .  .  .  call  in  the  police  at  once!  And  as  a  pre- 
caution, I  think  the  doors  of  the  building  should  be  closed!" 

The  verger,  having  at  last  grasped  the  situation,  acted  promptly. 
Going  to  the  head  of  the  steps  he  signaled  to  one  of  his  assistants, 
gave  the  necessary  orders  without  alarming  the  group  of  visitors  near 
the  altar,  then  hurried  to  the  main  entrance. 

I  looked  at  Shirley.  Did  her  suggestion  that  the  doors  of  the  build- 
ing be  closed  mean  that  the  man  had  been  murdered?  If  so,  the  order, 
I  feared,  came  too  late.  Whoever  had  committed  the  crime,  if  crime 
it  was,  had  already  been  allowed  ample  time  to  escape.  But  Shirley 
did  not  seem  disturbed;  as  she  stood  there,  her  figure  alert  and  tense, 
her  fine,  aquiline  features  thrown  into  relief  by  her  short,  blonde  hair, 
I  was  again  struck,  as  I  had  so  often  been  in  the  past,  by  her  astonish- 


3l6  THE    CANTERBURY    CATHEDRAL    MURDER 

ing  resemblance  at  times  like  this  to  her  celebrated  father,  Sherlock 
Holmes. 

"You  say  the  man  has  been  stabbed?"  I  asked  curiously. 

"Yes,"  Shirley  nodded.  "With  a  silver  pencil,  of  all  things.  If  you'll 
bend  down  you  can  see  the  end  of  it,  between  the  fingers  of  his 
right  hand." 

I  did  as  she  directed.  The  pencil,  a  heavy  one,  had  been  driven 
through  the  young  man's  shirt  straight  into  his  heart.  Since  it  still 
plugged  the  wound  there  was  almost  no  bleeding;  the  circulation  had 
ceased  with  the  stopping  of  his  heartbeats.  But  I  could  not  quite  un- 
derstand why  the  dead  man  clutched  the  pencil  in  his  fingers.  That 
suggested  suicide,  rather  than  murder. 

"Do  you  suppose  he  could  have  done  it  himself?"  I  whispered. 
"Have  placed  the  sharp  point  of  the  pencil  against  his  breast  and  then 
deliberately  fallen  forward  with  all  his  weight?  From  the  way  he's 
holding  the  end  of  it  in  his  fingers  .  .  ." 

"It's  possible,"  Shirley  said,  but  I  saw  that  for  some  reason  unknown 
to  me  she  did  not  think  so. 

I  glanced  at  the  notebook  in  the  man's  outstretched  hand.  It  was 
clearly  new  and  on  the  very  first  page  of  it  two  lines  had  been  written 
in  the  form  of  a  verse.  I  read  them  aloud. 

"Oh,  who  could  find  a  nobler  fate 
Than  death  where  died  the  good  and  great." 

"Why,  Shirley!"  I  exclaimed.  "It's  a  poem  about  himself  and  .  .  . 
Thomas  a  Becket!  A  sort  of  farewell  message,  I  should  say!" 

"Yes,"  Shirley  agreed.  "It  could  certainly  be  so  interpreted.  I  won- 
der if  he  wrote  it." 

"Then  you  still  think  the  man  was  murdered?  After  reading  that?" 

"I  do.  But  the  police  won't,  I  imagine.  Here  they  come  now.  You'd 
better  not  say  anything  about  my  opinion.  Let  them  form  their  own." 

I  looked  up.  Two  worried  policemen  were  hastening  down  the 
aisle,  accompanied  by  the  verger  and  a  small,  thin  man  in  civilian's 
clothes  whom  I  took  to  be  a  doctor.  A  third  had  taken  charge  of  the 
startled  group  of  tourists. 

The  doctor  proceeded  at  once  to  examine  the  body  while  one  of  the 
two  officers  who  had  joined  us,  a  beetle-browed  sergeant,  turned  to 


THE    CANTERBURY    CATHEDRAL    MURDER  317 

Shirley  and  myself  and  curtly  demanded  our  names.  But  the  moment 
Shirley  told  him  who  she  was,  his  frowns  vanished,  and  when  I  re- 
marked that  I  was  the  daughter  of  Dr.  Watson  he  fairly  beamed. 

"Have  either  of  you  young  ladies  ever  seen  this  man  before?"  he 
asked. 

"No,"  Shirley  said,  shaking  her  head.  "We  haven't.  Miss  Watson 
and  I  arrived  at  the  Cathedral  about  half-past  three.  The  party  of 
tourists  didn't  particularly  attract  us,  so  we  came  straight  along  here 
.  .  .  and  found  the  body  lying  on  the  slab.  I  sent  Miss  Watson  for 
help,  and  she  brought  the  verger.  .  .  ." 

"That's  right!"  the  latter  nodded.  "My  assistant  at  the  door  tells  me 
the  young  fellow  came  in,  alone,  a  little  before  three.  He  remembers 
the  man  particularly,  on  account  of  his  long  wavy  hair.  The  party 
of  tourists  arrived  about  ten  minutes  later  and  I  took  them  in  charge 
at  once." 

"Bring  them  over  here?"  the  sergeant  questioned. 

"Oh,  yes.  All  visitors  want  to  see  the  slab.  .  .  ." 

"Then  some  of  them  must  have  noticed  the  young  man." 

"I  don't  doubt  they  did,  sir." 

"Find  out,  Harris,"  the  sergeant  said,  turning  to  his  companion. 
"And  get  all  their  names  and  addresses." 

"There's  something  written  in  here,  sir,"  announced  the  policeman, 
indicating  the  dead  man's  notebook.  "Looks  like  a  farewell  message 
to  me."  He  strode  off. 

The  sergeant  read  the  verse  aloud,  nodding. 

"Think  it  could  be  a  suicide,  Doctor?"  he  asked. 

"Why,  yes  ...  it  could.  Unusual,  but  by  no  means  unprecedented. 
The  noble  Romans,  when  they  were  tired  of  life,  usually  fell  on  their 
swords,  didn't  they?  That  silver  pencil,  almost  as  sharp  as  a  needle, 
didn't  need  much  force  behind  it  to  penetrate  to  the  heart.  The  weight 
of  his  body,  against  the  stone  slab,  would  have  done  it.  And  with  the 
butt  end  of  the  pencil  clutched  in  his  fingers  .  .  .  that  farewell  mes- 
sage in  his  book  .  .  ."  He  shrugged. 

Harris,  the  other  policeman,  now  came  back,  bringing  several  of 
the  wide-eyed  tourists  with  him.  All  remembered  seeing  the  young 
man  sitting  on  the  steps  half  an  hour  before.  He  had  held  his  head 
in  his  hands  as  if  praying.  One  gray-haired  woman  testified  that  in 


318  THE    CANTERBURY    CATHEDRAL    MURDER 

going  down  to  look  at  the  slab  she  had  accidentally  trodden  on  the 
open  notebook,  lying  on  the  steps  at  the  young  man's  side.  When  she 
apologized  he  had  glanced  up  and  nodded.  This,  according  to  the 
verger,  was  at  a  quarter  past  three. 

"Miss  Watson  and  I  found  the  body  at  twenty  minutes  to  four," 
Shirley  volunteered.  "I  took  the  time  immediately,  of  course."  She 
smiled  at  the  sergeant,  as  though  he  would  appreciate  her  caution. 
"He  can't  have  been  dead  over  twenty-five  minutes." 

"Rather  less,  if  anything,"  said  the  doctor,  who  was  searching  the 
young  man's  pockets.  "Nothing  here  to  identify  him,"  he  went  on, 
placing  some  keys,  a  small  pile  of  money,  a  pipe  and  pouch  of  tobacco 
on  the  floor. 

Shirley  went  to  the  steps  and  sat  in  approximately  the  same  posi- 
tion the  young  man  had  occupied  when  seen  by  the  tourists. 

"Would  you  mind,  madam,"  she  asked  the  gray-haired  woman, 
"going  down  to  look  at  the  slab  just  as  you  did  before?" 

"Why  .  .  .  not  at  all."  Somewhat  mystified,  the  woman  descended 
the  short  flight  of  steps,  went  up  again. 

"Thanks!"  Shirley  rose,  her  eyes  shining,  and  stood  beside  the 
young  man's  body.  "You  can  see  plainly,  Sergeant,"  she  continued, 
pointing,  "the  print  of  this  lady's  shoe  on  the  open  page  of  the  note- 
book. There.  Very  faint,  of  course  .  .  .  under  the  penciled  verse. 
Which  would  seem  to  show  that  he  wrote  it  after  the  verger's  party 
came  by  .  .  ." 

"No  doubt."  The  sergeant  nodded.  "Any  of  you  recognize  the  fel- 
low?" he  went  on,  addressing  the  little  group.  "Suppose  you  step 
down  and  look.  Bring  the  rest  of  them  over,  Harris.  If  possible  we 
must  get  the  body  identified." 

But  although  the  score  or  more  of  visitors  trooped  dutifully  down 
to  where  the  dead  man  lay  not  one  of  them,  so  they  declared,  was  able 
to  throw  any  light  upon  his  identity. 

"Very  well!"  The  sergeant  snapped  a  rubber  band  about  his  note- 
book, placed  it  in  his  pocket.  "That's  all.  You'll  be  wanted,  at  the 
inquest  most  likely,  young  ladies,"  he  went  on  to  Shirley  and  me.  "If 
we  need  any  of  the  rest  of  you  people,  you'll  be  notified."  With  a 
nod  he  dismissed  the  little  group. 

Shirley  stood  watching  them  and  I  felt  sure,  from  my  knowledge 
of  her,  that  the  features,  the  general  appearance,  of  each  one  was 


THE    CANTERBURY    CATHEDRAL    MURDER  319 

being  recorded  by  her  acute  and  sensitive  brain.  When  they  had 
drifted  off  to  continue  their  sightseeing  in  care  of  the  verger,  she  took 
me  by  the  arm. 

"What  about  tea?"  she  said. 

But  as  soon  as  we  had  passed  the  doors  of  the  Cathedral  I  realized 
that  her  mind  was  set  on  other  things  than  tea.  Watching  carefully 
for  a  moment  to  make  sure  that  no  one  had  followed  us  from  the 
building  she  drew  me  toward  her  car. 

"Hurry,  darling,"  she  whispered.  "We  have  work  to  do!" 

I  stared  at  her,  astonished. 

"Apparently  you  still  think  it  wasn't  a  case  of  suicide?"  I  remarked, 

as  we  got  in. 

"Suicide  my  grandmother!"  snapped  Shirley,  glancing  through 
the  rear  window  of  the  car.  "One  of  the  most  daring  murders  I've  ever 
come  across!" 

"I  don't  see  why  you  think  so,"  I  objected. 

"It's  simple  enough!  The  dead  man  was  left-handed!  And  left- 
handed  people  don't  stab  themselves  with  their  right  hands!" 

"How  do  you  know  he  was  left-handed?" 

"Because  the  fingernails  of  his  left  hand  were  much  more  worn 
and  broken  than  those  of  his  right!  Because  between  the  thumb  and 
forefinger  of  his  left  hand  was  a  dark  smudge,  made  by  the  silver 
pencil  when  he  wrote  with  it!  Because  he  carried  his  money  in  his 
left-hand  trousers'  pocket!  And  because  that  woman  I  asked  to  walk 
down  the  steps  ...  the  one  who  trod  on  his  notebook  .  .  .  passed 
to  the  right  side  of  him!" 

"But  ...  I  don't  see  what  that  shows." 

"You  would,  if  you  thought  a  moment.  A  left-handed  man  would 
hold  a  notebook  in  his  right  hand,  wouldn't  he?  And  if  he  laid  it 
down  on  the  steps  beside  him  it  would  be  at  his  right  side  .  .  .  just 
where  that  woman  stepped  on  it!" 

"But  he  had  it  in  his  left  hand  when  we  found  him!" 

"Which  clearly  proves  that  the  murderer,  when  he  put  it  there, 

either  forgot,  or  didn't  know,  that  the  young  fellow  was  left-handed!" 

"Shirley!  You're  .  .  .  wonderful!"  I  gasped. 

"The  killer  came  up  behind  him,  no  doubt,"  Shirley  went  on,  "as 

he  was  sitting  on  the  steps  with  his  head  in  his  hands.  Throttled  him 

to  silence  with  one  arm  about  his  neck  .  .  .  snatched  up  the  pencil 


320  THE    CANTERBURY    CATHEDRAL    MURDER 

with  the  other  and  stabbed  him  to  the  heart!  Then  lowered  him  on 
the  slab,  thrust  the  handle  of  the  pencil  into  his  right  hand,  the  note- 
book into  his  left,  and  walked  off  ...  after  searching  the  body.  .  .  ." 

"How  do  you  know  it  was  searched?" 

"One  of  the  pockets  was  turned  inside  out.  I  looked  through  them 
myself,  while  you  were  calling  the  verger.  Stuffed  in  his  tobacco  pouch 
I  found  this."  She  took  a  crumpled  paper  from  her  purse. 

I  read  the  words  on  it,  written  in  a  crabbed,  feminine  hand. 

Received  of  Eric  Sefton  30  shillings  for  one  week's  board  and  lodg- 
ing in  advance.  MRS.  ELLEN  CHOWN — Dover  Road. 

"We're  going  there  now,"  Shirley  murmured.  "To  see  Mrs.  Chown. 
His  landlady,  it  appears.  The  receipt,  you  may  have  noticed,  is  dated 
the  day  before  yesterday!" 

"But  shouldn't  we  have  told  the  police?" 

"Yes.  But  they'll  find  out  soon  enough.  And  I  wanted  to  get  there 
first.  Even  now  we  may  be  too  late!"  She  glanced  at  the  house  be- 
fore which  we  presently  drew  up  ...  a  small  but  very  homelike  cot- 
tage on  the  edge  of  the  town.  "Let  me  do  the  talking,  Joan,"  she 
went  on,  as  we  hurried  to  the  door. 

The  middle-aged  woman  who  opened  it  for  us  seemed,  I  thought, 
a  bit  startled. 

"Mr.  Sefton  isn't  in,",  she  said,  "but  I'm  looking  for  him  back  at 
any  moment." 

"I'm  afraid  he  won't  be  back  at  all,  Mrs.  Chown,"  Shirley  said 
gravely.  "A  young  man  answering  his  description  was  found  dead  in 
Canterbury  Cathedral  this  afternoon  .  .  ." 

Mrs.  Chown  sagged  against  the  door  frame,  her  expression  dis- 
mayed. 

"Oh  ...  the  poor  young  fellow!"  she  murmured.  "My  daughter 
will  be  terribly  upset!" 

"She  was  a  friend  of  his,  then?" 

"In  a  way,  miss.  They'd  got  to  know  each  other  quite  well,  in  the 
short  time  he'd  been  here.  Such  a  nice  young  man!"  She  wiped  a  sug- 
gestion of  tears  from  her  eyes.  "Mabel  was  real  fond  of  him." 

"If  we  might  come  in  for  a  moment,"  Shirley  said  quickly,  "I'd 
like  to  ask  you  a  few  questions.  My  friend  and  I"  —  she  glanced  at  me 
—  "are  journalists  from  London."  This  was  true  enough,  as  far  as  / 


THE    CANTERBURY    CATHEDRAL    MURDER  32! 

was  concerned,  at  least.  Shirley  might  have  been  anything,  from  a 
duchess  down. 

"Why  ...  of  course."  Mrs.  Chown  ushered  us  into  her  small,  plain 
parlor.  "I'll  be  glad  to  tell  you  what  little  I  know.  Mr.  Sefton  arrived 
here  about  ten  days  ago.  A  writer,  he  said  he  was,  a  poet,  on  a  walk- 
ing tour  for  his  vacation,  and  wanted  lodgings  for  the  night.  The 
next  day  he  liked  his  room  so  much  he  thought  he  would  stay  on,  and 
paid  a  week's  board  in  advance.  The  day  before  yesterday  he  paid  for 
a  second  week.  A  very  quiet  respectable  young  man;  spent  most  of 
his  time  in  his  room.  My  daughter,  Mabel,  who  works  for  Frost  & 
Chandler's,  the  florists,  in  town,  used  to  talk  to  him,  evenings.  She 
rides  to  work  every  day  on  her  bicycle,  but  of  course,  at  night  - 

"I  see,"  interrupted  Shirley  quickly,  and  I  saw  that  she  was  tre- 
mendously interested.  "Mr.  Sefton  didn't  go  out  much,  then?" 

"Scarcely  at  all,  miss,  since  he  came.  He  wouldn't  have  gone  to 
Canterbury  today,  he  told  me,  if  he  hadn't  wanted  to  get  his  hair  cut." 

"He  was  left-handed,  wasn't  he?"  Shirley  asked. 

"He  was,  miss.  But  very  quick  with  tools,  just  the  same.  I  know, 
because  he  put  a  new  stopper  on  the  water  butt  for  me.  And  fixed 
my  rustic  rose  arbor,  when  the  storm  last  week  blew  it  down.  And 
mended  the  broken  kitchen  step,  just  as  good  as  new.  You  wouldn't 
think  a  writer  would  be  so  handy  with  tools." 

"You  certainly  wouldn't,"  Shirley  agreed.  "Did  he  have  many 
callers,  Mrs.  Chown?" 

"Not  a  one,  miss,  all  the  time  he  was  here,  until  this  afternoon." 

"This  afternoon?"  Shirley's  eyes  were  snapping. 

"Why  .  .  .  yes,  miss.  The  man  who  came  just  before  you  did.  A 
friend  of  Mr.  Sefton's,  he  said,  with  a  message  for  him  .  .  ." 

"Did  you  let  him  go  up  to  Mr.  Sefton's  room?" 

"Why  .  .  .  yes,  miss.  How  did  you  know?" 

"I  suspected  it,"  Shirley  replied,  frowning.  "What  did  he  want 
there?" 

"To  leave  him  a  note,  he  said  .  .  ." 

"Oh!"  Shirley  rose.  "I  was  afraid  we'd  be  too  late.  Will  you  let  us 
see  his  room,  too,  Mrs.  Chown?" 

"Why  ...  I  don't  know  of  any  objection."  The  landlady  went  to 
the  door.  "There's  really  nothing  in  it  ...  the  poor  fellow  only 
brought  a  knapsack.  Come  this  way." 


322  THE    CANTERBURY    CATHEDRAL    MURDER 

We  hurried  up  the  stairs.  Mrs.  Chown's  statements  about  the  young 
man's  room  were  borne  out  by  the  facts.  His  knapsack,  empty,  hung 
on  the  back  of  the  door.  Its  contents,  a  meager  supply  of  shirts,  socks 
and  underwear,  had  been  arranged  in  the  drawers  of  the  dresser.  The 
small  wooden  table  contained  only  a  few  gaudy- magazines,  with  no' 
sign  of  poems  or  literary  work  of  any  other  nature  to  be  seen.  In  fact 
there  was  not  a  letter  or  scrap  of  paper  in  the  place  .  .  .  not  even  the 
note  the  young  man's  caller  was  supposed  to  have  left  for  him. 

"He  must  have  changed  his  mind,"  Mrs.  Chown  muttered,  her  old 
eyes  troubled.  "When  he  came  down,  he  asked  me  about  Mabel  .  .  . 
wanted  to  know  where  she  worked." 

"Indeed!"  said  Shirley,  who  was  making  a  meticulous  search  of  the 
room.  "What  did  this  friend  look  like?" 

"He  was  medium-tail,"  the  landlady  replied,  "smooth-shaved,  and 
had  on  a  gray  suit  ...  or  was  it  blue  ...  ?" 

"How  old?"  Shirley  groaned,  realizing  the  uncertainty  of  all  such 
evidence. 

"Around  thirty,  I'd  say." 

Shirley  led  the  way  down  the  stairs.  From  her  expression  I  was  cer- 
tain that  she  had  not  discovered  a  single  clue  of  any  value  in  solving 
the  mystery.  But  her  face  still  wore  its  gay  and  indomitable  smile. 

"Wouldn't  you  like  to  show  us  your  rose  garden,  Mrs.  Chown?" 
she  said,  as  we  reached  the  lower  hall.  "I  adore  flowers." 

"I'd  be  proud  to,"  the  landlady  replied.  "Come  this  way."  She  led 
us  to  the  kitchen,  opened  the  rear  door.  "Here's  the  step  Mr.  Sefton 
fixed  for  me,"  she  went  on,  as  we  passed  into  the  garden.  "Concrete. 
Much  stronger  than  the  old  one  was.  And  there's  the  rose  arbor  he 
mended."  She  indicated  a  rustic  trellis  covered  with  a  mass  of  crimson 
blossoms.  "The  wind  had  knocked  it  flat.  My  larkspur  and  primroses 
are  doing  very  well,  don't  you  think?" 

"They  are  indeed,"  Shirley  agreed,  but  I  saw  that  she  was  not  in- 
terested, and  after  a  few  moments  she  put  out  her  hand.  "Thanks  for 
your  kindness,  Mrs.  Chown,"  she  went  on.  "And  don't  say  anything 
to  the  police  about  our  having  been  here,  will  you  ?  They  rather  ob- 
ject to  journalists  butting  in."  She  shook  hands  with  the  old  lady  and 
a  moment  later  we  were  on  our  way  back  to  the  car. 

"The  murderer  didn't  find  what  he  wanted  when  he  searched  the 
body,"  Shirley  said,  "or  he  wouldn't  have  come  here." 


THE    CANTERBURY    CATHEDRAL    MURDER  323 

"Do  you  think  he  found  it  here?"  I  inquired. 

"That,"  Shirley  smiled,  "depends  on  whether  he  has  gone  to  see 
Mrs.  Chown's  daughter.  Since  we  are  about  to  interview  the  young 
lady  ourselves  we  shall  soon  know."  She  added  another  five  miles  to 
the  speed  of  her  small,  smart  roadster.  "One  thing  is  clear  .  .  .  Mr. 
Sefton  was  no  poet.  Did  you  notice  the  way  the  step,  and  that  rose 
arbor,  were  mended  ?  Skillful  work,  my  dear  Joan.  Our  young  friend, 
without  meaning  to  do  so,  told  the  world  that  he  was  a  first-class 
mechanic."  She  did  not  speak  again  until  we  drew  up  before  the 
expensive-looking  shop  of  Messrs.  Frost  &  Chandler. 

Miss  Chown,  a  sharp-eyed,  good-looking  girl,  was  waiting  on  a  cus- 
tomer when  we  came  in,  but  presently  joined  us. 

"You  want  to  see  me?"  she  asked,  her  manner  apprehensive. 

"Yes."  Shirley  laid  her  hand  on  the  girl's  arm.  "About  that  man 
who  called  here  .  .  .  talked  with  you,  this  afternoon.  The  young 
man  in  a  gray  suit?" 

"He  wasn't  young,"  Miss  Chown  objected.  "Forty,  at  least.  And  his 
suit  wasn't  gray  ...  it  was  tan  .  .  ." 

"My  mistake,"  Shirley  murmured,  giving  me  a  triumphant  glance. 
"Would  you  mind  telling  me  what  he  wanted?" 

The  girl's  eyes  narrowed,  at  this. 

"Why  should  I?"  she  asked.  "Who  are  you?" 

Shirley  did  not  pursue  the  fiction  of  our  being  journalists. 

"Miss  Chown,"  she  said  gravely,  "a  desperate  crime  was  committed 
in  Canterbury  Cathedral  this  afternoon.  A  young  man,  known  to  you 
as  Eric  Sefton,  was  deliberately  murdered  there!"  She  tightened  her 
grip  on  the  girl's  arm  as  the  latter  swayed  against  the  counter.  "Don't 
do  anything  to  attract  attention,  please,  but  I  suspect  that  this  man 
who  came  to  see  you  was  his  murderer.  He  believes  himself  safe,  for 
the  time  being  at  least,  because  the  police  think  Mr.  Sefton  committed 
suicide.  Please  tell  me,  as  briefly  as  you  can,  what  the  fellow  wanted." 

Miss  Chown  passed  her  hand  across  her  eyes;  it  was  clear  that  the 
news  of  Mr.  Sef ton's  death  had  come  as  a  great  shock. 

"Are  ...  are  you  sure  it  was  .  .  .  Eric?"  she  whispered. 

"Not  absolutely,"  Shirley  said.  "I  am  going  to  ask  you,  when  we 
leave  here,  to  go  to  the  police  .  .  .  identify  his  body.  But  first  tell  me 
why  that  man  came  to  see  you." 
"He  ...  he  wanted  to  know,"  Miss  Chown  stammered,  "if  ...  if 


324  THE    CANTERBURY    CATHEDRAL    MURDER 

Eric  had  given  me  anything  of  value  to  keep  for  him.  He  said  he  was 
a  friend  of  Eric's  and  had  been  looking  for  him  all  the  afternoon.  It 
seems  that  unless  he  could  produce  this  .  .  .  this  article  .  .  .  im- 
mediately, Eric  would  lose  a  great  deal  of  money." 

"He  didn't  tell  you  what  it  was?" 

"No." 

"Or  that  Mr.  Sefton  was  dead?" 

"Oh,  no.  He  said  he'd  been  trying  to  find  him." 

"And  what  did  you  say?" 

"That  Eric  never  gave  me  anything  to  keep  for  him  at  all  ...  that 
I  knew  nothing  about  his  affairs.  Finally  the  man  went  away.  But  I 
was  frightened,  because  .  .  .  because  Mr.  Sefton  did  tell  me  that  .  .  . 
that  somebody  might  try  to  rob  him,  and  that  was  why  he  was  afraid 
to  go  out.  .  .  ." 

"Rob  him  of  what?" 

"I  don't  know.  He  never  said.  But  it  must  have  been  something  he 
carried  in  his  knapsack,  because,  when  he  first  came,  he  wouldn't 
let  the  thing  out  of  his  sight.  Later  on,  after  he  unpacked  it,  he 
didn't  seem  to  care.  .  .  ." 

Shirley  stood  staring  at  the  girl  without  seeing  her;  there  was  a 
queer,  clairvoyant  look  in  her  eyes  that  told  me  her  thoughts  were 
far  away.  Presently  she  shook  her  head  with  a  swift,  decisive  gesture, 
glanced  at  her  watch. 

"Half -past  five!"  she  said.  "You  close  at  six,  I  imagine.  Get  your 
hat,  Miss  Chown!  I'll  arrange  with  the  proprietors  for  you  to  leave!" 
She  hurried  to  the  small  office  at  the  rear  of  the  shop  and  returned 
almost  immediately  with  a  slim,  gray-haired  gentleman  who  assured 
the  sales-girl  she  was  at  liberty  to  go  for  the  day.  A  moment  later  we 
were  climbing  into  Shirley's  car. 

We  did  not,  however,  drive  at  once  to  the  police  station,  but  made 
a  short  stop  at  what  appeared  to  be  a  newspaper  office  on  the  way. 
Shirley,  although  she  left  us  for  ten  minutes,  offered  no  explanations, 
and  presently  we  were  once  more  facing  the  beetle-browed  sergeant 
who  had  questioned  us  at  the  Cathedral. 

"Have  you  found  out  who  the  dead  man  was?"  she  asked. 

"Not  yet,"  replied  the  sergeant,  eyeing  us  curiously,  "but  we  are  ex- 
pecting reports  at  almost  any  moment." 

"I  think  this  girl  may  be  able  to  identify  him,"  S'hirley  went  on. 


THE    CANTERBURY    CATHEDRAL    MURDER  325 

"Her  name  is  Chown  .  ,  .  Mabel  Chown  .  .  .  and  she  works  for 
Frost  &  Chandler,  the  florists.  Unless  I  am  very  much  mistaken  the 
young  man  was  a  boarder  at  her  mother's  house." 

The  sergeant  did  not,  as  I  feared  he  might,  question  Shirley  con- 
cerning the  source  of  her  information.  Perhaps  the  magic  name  of 
Sherlock  Holmes  lent  her  a  certain  glamour.  Instead  he  turned  to 
Miss  Chown. 

"Come  with  me,  please,"  he  said,  going  to  the  door.  "Since  I  don't 
suppose  you  care  to  visit  the  mortuary,  Miss  Holmes,"  he  went  on,  "I 
suggest  that  you  and  Miss  Watson  wait  here." 

When  they  had  gone  I  turned  to  Shirley. 

"He  still  thinks  it  a  case  of  suicide,"  I  whispered. 

"Yes,"  Shirley  replied.  "I  wonder  if  Mr.  Sefton  wrote  that  verse  in 
his  notebook  to  prove  to  the  girl  that  he  really  was  a  poet?" 

"What  do  you  want  to  know  for?"  I  asked. 

"Because,"  said  Shirley  grimly,  "if  he  didn't,  then  it  wasn't  written 
by  him  at  all!  I  wish  I  had  a  sample  of  his  handwriting!"  After 
that  she  remained  buried  in  thought  until  Miss  Chown,  very  much 
shaken,  returned  in  the  charge  of  the  sergeant. 

"It's  young  Sefton,  all  right,"  the  latter  said.  "I'll  send  a  man  to 
look  over  his  papers,  his  belongings.  If  the  poor  fellow  had  any  rela- 
tives they  should  be  notified  at  once." 

Shirley  gave  me  one  of  her  swift,  inscrutable  glances. 

"Joan!"  she  said.  "Take  Miss  Chown  out  to  the  car.  We're  going  to 
drive  her  home.  I'd  like  a  few  words  with  the  sergeant." 

I  nodded.  Shirley,  I  knew,  was  up  to  something  mysterious.  It  was 
fifteen  minutes  before  she  rejoined  us  and  when  she  did  there  was  an 
expression  on  her  face  that  boded  ill  to  whoever  had  killed  young 
Sefton.  Yet  the  fact  that  there  had  been  a  murder  was  still  unknown; 
as  we  drove  off,  boys  were  crying  late  editions  of  the  afternoon  news- 
papers, with  full  details  of  "the  horrible  suicide  in  Canterbury  Cathe- 
dral!" 

Mrs.  Chown,  we  learned  on  arriving  at  the  cottage,  had  not  been 
disturbed  by  further  visitors;  even  the  policeman  the  sergeant  had 
planned  to  send  out  had  not  yet  arrived.  Shirley,  to  my  surprise,  an- 
nounced that  she  was  hungry,  and  accepted  with  what  seemed  to  me 
almost  indecent  alacrity  Mrs.  Chown's  invitation  to  supper.  While  it 


326  THE    CANTERBURY    CATHEDRAL    MURDER 

was  being  prepared  she  went  into  the  garden,  remained  there  alone 
for  half  an  hour,  smoking  endless  cigarettes,  apparently  trying  to  solve 
some  intricate  problem. 

But  as  soon  as  supper  was  over  she  became  once  more  her  eager, 
active  self.  Sending  me  out  to  the  car,  she  stopped  for  a  short  talk 
with  Miss  Chown.  When  she  rejoined  me  she  was  beaming. 

"We'll  give  the  affair  a  good  write-up  in  our  paper!"  she  called 
back,  noisily  starting  the  engine. 

"Well,  Shirley,"  I  said,  as  we  drove  off  through  the  darkness,  "we 
don't  seem  any  nearer  to  the  murderer  than  we  were  before." 

She  gave  me  an  impish  grin,  at  that. 

"You  don't  realize,  Joan,"  she  whispered,  "just  how  near  to  the  mur- 
derer we  really  are  ...  or  have  been."  For  a  moment  she  glanced 
back  down  the  shadowy  street,  then,  to  my  surprise,  she  suddenly 
turned  off  the  Dover  Road  and  brought  the  car  to  a  standstill  in  one 
of  the  side  streets.  "We're  getting  out  here,  darling,"  she  said. 

I  climbed  down,  considerably  mystified,  having  supposed  we  were 
on  our  way  back  to  the  old  Falstaff  Inn  where  we  had  taken  rooms 
for  the  night.  No  thought  of  investigating  murders  had  brought  us 
to  Canterbury;  Shirley  and  I  had  set  out  from  Eastmill  the  day  be- 
fore on  a  leisurely  progress  to  join  Mother  and  Dad  at  Folkestone  for 
the  week  end. 

As  soon  as  we  reached  the  sidewalk,  Shirley  started  back  in  the 
general  direction  of  the  cottage,  taking,  however,  a  roundabout  way 
which  brought  us,  through  dark  lanes  and  byroads,  to  the  rear  of  the 
Chowns'  little  garden.  A  thick  hedge  of  evergreens  bordered  the 
farther  edge  of  it;  when  we  had  noiselessly  forced  a  way  through 
their  branches  we  found  ourselves  close  behind  the  rose  arbor,  the 
heavy  vines  of  which  hid  us  completely  from  sight  of  those  in  the 
house.  It  was  now,  I  knew,  close  to  nine  o'clock,  and  while  there  was 
no  moon,  the  night  sky  was  still  sufficiently  luminous  to  render  ob- 
jects in  the  garden  quite  plainly  visible. 

We  crouched,  hidden,  behind  the  arbor  for  what  seemed  hours,  al- 
though the  ringing  of  church  bells  presently  told  me  that  it  was 
only  ten  o'clock.  Then  Shirley,  who  had  offered  no  explanations, 
nodded  significantly  in  the  direction  of  the  house. 

I  followed  her  gaze.  The  kitchen  door  was  being  slowly  pushed 
open.  Against  the  light  behind  it  I  saw  the  slender  figure  of  a  woman 


THE  CANTERBURY  CATHEDRAL  MURDER        327 

...  too  slender,  I  realized  at  once,  to  be  that  of  Mrs.  Chown.  Her 
daughter,  no  doubt,  coming  into  the  garden  for  a  breath  of  air. 

But  a  breath  of  air  proved  not  to  be  Miss  Chown's  purpose.  As  she 
crept  into  view  I  saw,  dimly,  that  she  held  an  object  of  some  sort  in 
her  hand.  Presently,  bending  over  the  new  concrete  step  so  kindly 
built  by  Mr.  Sefton  at  the  kitchen  door,  she  began  an  operation  of 
some  sort  upon  it;  I  could  clearly  hear  the  clink  of  metal  as  against 

stone. 

"Shirley!"  I  whispered.  "It's  that  girl!  What  does  it  mean?" 
"Be  quiet!"  Shirley  replied,  and  I  saw  the  glint  of  a  revolver  in  her 

hand. 

I  said  no  more,  but  it  came  to  me,  suddenly,  that  whatever  the  ob- 
ject Mr.  Sefton  had  guarded  so  carefully  in  his  knapsack,  it  might 
well  have  been  hidden  beneath  this  newly  made  concrete  step  .  .  . 
and  Miss  Chown,  now  that  the  coast  was  clear,  was  engaged  in  re- 
covering it.  How  all  this  fitted  into  Shirley's  theory  of  a  murder  in 
Canterbury  Cathedral  was  a  mystery  to  me  but  I  knew  that  it  would 
be  useless  to  question  her  about  it  now.  Nor  was  such  questioning 
necessary. 

As  Miss  Chown,  manipulating  what  I  presently  made  out  to  be  a 
crowbar,  succeeded  in  overturning  the  step,  I  saw  a  dark  figure 
emerge  from  the  shadows  at  the  side  of  the  house  and  leap  toward  her. 

Instantly  the  girl  gave  a  shrill  and  terrified  cry  and  at  the  same 
moment  Shirley  rose,  and  revolver  in  hand  went  plunging  across  the 
garden. 

At  the  foot  of  the  kitchen  steps  a  sharp  struggle  was  going  on;  I 
heard  the  impact  of  a  blow  and  Miss  Chown's  terrified  cries  ceased 
abruptly.  A  moment  later,  the  figure  of  a  man  sprang  toward  the 
front  of  the  house,  tucking,  as  he  went,  a  long  slender  object  beneath 
his  arm. 

Shirley  stood  for  an  instant  gazing  after  him.  Then  her  hand  shot 
up  and  I  heard  the  sharp  report  of  her  pistol.  Two  other  figures,  rac- 
ing through  the  darkness,  bore  down  upon  the  fleeing  man,  now 
clutching  in  agony  a  shattered  arm. 

Shirley  was  upon  him  almost  as  soon  as  the  two  policemen  .  .  . 
was  picking  up  the  slender  roll  he  had  dropped  upon  the  grass. 

"The  Wellesley  Van  Dyck,  Sergeant!"  she  said  triumphantly,  un- 
rolling the  brown-canvas  cylinder.  "You'll  get  the  credit  for  this,  at 


328  THE    CANTERBURY    CATHEDRAL    MURDER 

Scotland  Yard,  but  I  think  Miss  Chown  should  have  the  reward!  For 
running  the  risk  she  did  in  acting  as  decoy!  That  brute  might  have 
killed  her  ...  as  he  did  his  confederate,  Sefton.  Or  Edwards,  rather. 
Sefton  was  merely  an  assumed  name."  She  turned  to  Miss  Chown, 
nursing  a  badly  bruised  cheek.  "Thank  you,  my  dear!  I  hope  it 
doesn't  hurt  too  much.  It  was  the  only  way  we  could  catch  him  red- 
handed!"  Again  she  glanced  at  the  furious  prisoner,  moaning  dis- 
mally over  his  wounded  arm.  "I  wouldn't  have  shot  him,  Sergeant," 
she  said,  "if  you'd  been  a  little  quicker  on  the  uptake!" 

"We  got  caught  in  the  hedge,"  replied  the  officer,  flushing.  "I  don't 
see  how  we  are  going  to  thank  you,  Miss  Holmes.  And  if  you  don't 
mind  my  asking  how  you  did  it  .  .  ." 

"Nothing  simpler!"  Shirley  laughed.  Like  her  distinguished  father, 
she  has  a  keen  love  for  the  dramatic.  "I  knew  that  Sefton  had  hidden 
something  .  .  .  something  he'd  most  likely  stolen.  So  this  afternoon 
I  glanced  through  the  London  newspapers  for  the  past  two  weeks, 
checked  up  the  important  crimes.  One  of  them  was  the  theft  of  Lord 
Wellesley's  Van  Dyck,  on  the  very  day  before  this  young  fellow  ar- 
rived in  Canterbury.  By  two  mechanics,  doing  plumbing  repairs  at 
his  house.  Having  learned  that  this  young  man  was  a  mechanic,  I 
concluded  he'd  had  the  picture  in  his  knapsack.  And  since  a  rolled-up 
canvas  isn't  an  easy  thing  to  hide,  I  could  imagine  no  more  likely 
place  than  a  recess  in  that  concrete  step  he  so  obligingly  built  for 
Mrs.  Chown.  This  evening,  while  waiting  for  supper,  I  made  some 
investigations,  satisfied  myself  that  the  step  was  hollow  .  .  .  per- 
suaded Miss  Chown  to  upset  it  with  a  crowbar  soon  after  it  was 
dark,  and  disclose  the  hiding  place.  I  felt  sure  that  this  man,  having 
killed  Sefton,  probably  for  double-crossing  him,  would  watch  the 
house,  knowing  quite  well  the  picture  must  be  hidden  somewhere 
about  the  premises.  And  of  course,  Sergeant,  that  was  why  I  didn't 
tell  you,  until  I  came  to  the  station  with  Miss  Chown  late  this  after- 
noon, that  Sefton  had  been  murdered  .  .  .it  was  necessary  that  his 
death  should  be  regarded  publicly  as  a  suicide,  in  order  not  to  scare 
the  murderer  away.  .  .  ." 

"Amazing!"  the  sergeant  whispered.  "Even  your  father,  Miss 
Holmes,  couldn't  have  handled  the  thing  better.  .  .  ." 

"You  think  not?"  smiled  Shirley.  "You're  wrong.  Dad  would  have 


THE    CANTERBURY    CATHEDRAL    MURDER  329 

known  by  now  why  this  fellow  in  hiding  went  to  the  Cathedral  at 
all,  today.  That  still  is  a  mystery  to  me.  You  figure  it  out,  Sergeant." 

The  sergeant  stood  staring  after  us,  scratching  his  head  in  bewil- 
derment. 


Detective:  SHERLOCK  HOLMES 


THE   CASE   OF   THE   MISSING 
PATRIARCHS 

by  LOGAN  CLENDEN1NG,  M.D. 


The  eminent  physician-author  of  THE  HUMAN  BODY  gives  us  his 
version  of  one  of  the  shortest  and  cleverest  pastiches  of  Sher- 
locf^  Holmes  ever  conceived.  "The  scene  is  Heaven  and  the 
creative  spirit  behind  this  delicious  anecdote  is  undeniably  Jo- 
vian. The  climactic  deduction  attributed  to  Sherlocf(  is  a  price- 
less jewel  in  the  diadem  of  Holmesian  lore. 

This  is  the  first  bool^-appearance  of  Dr.  Clendening's  short- 
short  story.  It  was  issued  in  1934  as  a  "Sherlockjana"  leaflet, 
privately  printed  by  Edwin  B.  Hill,  and  limited  to  exactly  thirty 
copies.  (Try  to  find  one!}  Vincent  Starrett,  who  edited  the 
"Sherlockjana"  series,  and  still  does,  appended  this  note  to  the 
1934  issue: 

"The  editor  of  'Sherloctyana1  by  no  means  presumes  that  its 
readers  will  regard  this  curious  item  as  fresh  or  original.  In- 
deed, he  is  perfectly  aware  of  a  reference  in  'The  Bookman'  of 
7902,  couched  in  terms  that  would  be  acceptable  to  the  taste  of 
that  time,  to  a  story  going  the  rounds  of  New  Yor^:  it  con- 
cerned the  feats  of  Sherlock^  Holmes  in  Heaven;  but  the  mod- 
esty of  the  period  kept  the  anecdote  from  a  full  elucidation. 
Sir  Arthur  Conan  Doyle  also  referred  to  it,  in  his  autobiog- 
raphy, but  similarly  denied  his  readers  the  privilege  of  read- 
ing it " 

Intrigued?  Your  curiosity  aroused? 

Then  obey  that  impulse  —  read  on! 


S 


HERLOCK  HOLMES  is  dead.  At  the  age  of  eighty  he  passed  away 
quietly  in  his  sleep.  And  at  once  ascended  to  Heaven. 


THE    CASE    OF    THE    MISSING    PATRIARCHS  331 

The  arrival  of  few  recent  immigrants  to  the  celestial  streets  has 
caused  so  much  excitement.  Only  Napoleon's  appearance  in  Hell 
is  said  to  have  equaled  the  great  detective's  reception.  In  spite  of 
the  heavy  fog  which  rolled  in  from  the  Jordan,  Holmes  was  imme- 
diately bowled  in  a  hansom  to  audience  with  the  Divine  Presence. 
After  the  customary  exchange  of  amenities,  Jehovah  said: 

"Mr.  Holmes,  we  too  have  our  problems.  Adam  and  Eve  are  miss- 
ing. Have  been,  's  a  matter  of  fact,  for  nearly  two  aeons.  They  used 
to  be  quite  an  attraction  to  visitors  and  we  would  like  to  commission 
you  to  discover  them." 

Holmes  looked  thoughtful  for  a  moment. 

"We  fear  that  their  appearance  when  last  seen  would  furnish  no 
clue,"  continued  Jehovah.  "A  man  is  bound  to  change  in  two  aeons." 

Holmes  held  up  his  long,  thin  hand.  "Could  you  make  a  general 
announcement  that  a  contest  between  an  immovable  body  and  an  ir- 
resistible force  will  be  staged  in  that  large  field  at  the  end  of  the 
street  —  Lord's,  I  presume  it  is?" 

The  announcement  was  made  and  soon  the  streets  were  filled  with 
a  slowly  moving  crowd.  Holmes  stood  idly  in  the  divine  portico 
watching  them. 

Suddenly  he  darted  into  the  crowd  and  seized  a  patriarch  and  his 
whimpering  old  mate;  he  brought  them  to  the  Divine  Presence. 

"It  is,"  asserted  Deity.  "Adam,  you  have  been  giving  us  a  great  deal 
of  anxiety.  But,  Mr.  Holmes,  tell  me  how  you  found  them." 

"Elementary,  my  dear  God,"  said  Sherlock  Holmes,  "they  have  no 
navels." 


Detective:  THE  GREAT  DETECTIVE 


THE   CASE   OF   THE   DIABOLICAL 

PLOT 

by  RICHARD  MALLETT 


The  recipe  for  that  gourmand's  dish,  Parodie  a  la  Punch,  has 
remained  constant  through  the  decades.  The  modern  salad  is 
just  a  second  helping  of  the  old-style  salmagundi. 

For  example:  Richard  Mallett's  "The  Case  of  the  Diabolical 
Plot,"  published  in  "Punch"  on  June  12,  1935,  is  concocted  of 
essentially  the  same  ingredients  —  equal  parts  of  farce  and  ex- 
aggeration, with  a  light  sprinkling  of  plot  — that  R.  C.  Leh- 
mann  stirred  into  his  Pic{locf(  Holes  series  forty-two  year*  be- 
fore. 

Garnished  with  thicJ{  satire  sauce,  The  Great  Detective  again 
foils  his  ancient  enemy,  The  Master  Criminal.  This  time  the 
Master  Criminal  is  head  of  a  secret  society  (the  Hippy  Hops) 
whose  plot  strikes  at  the  very  roots  of  the  British  Empire.  How 
otherwise  explain  the  singular  and  ubiquitous  thefts  of  piano 
feys,  circus  elephants,  and  billiard  balls? 

"It  was  all  perfectly  obvious  from  the  first,  my  dear  Watson" 

Four  other  burlesques  of  The  Great  Detective,  all  signed  by 
the  author's  initials,  R.  M.,  may  be  found  — if  the  reader  is 
still  hungry  — in  the  following  issues  of  "Punch": 

"The  Case  of  the  Pearls" —  November  21,  1934 
"The  Case  of  the  Traveller"  —  December  26,  1934 
"The  Case  of  the  Pursuit"  -  January  23,  1935 
"The  Case  of  the  Impersonation"  —  May  8,  1935 


I 


N  AN  unguarded  moment  the  Great  Detective's  sceptical  friend, 
J.  Smith,  remarked  otf-handedly,  "If  there  is  one  thing  more  than 


THE    CASE    OF    THE    DIABOLICAL    PLOT  333 

another  for  which  I  am  thankful  (and  I  assure  you  there  is  no  great 
competition),  it  is  that  you  never  seem  to  have  come  into  contact  with 
one  of  those  enormously  wealthy  and  ruthless  but  cultured  master 
criminals  whose  aim  is  to  overthrow  the  British  Empire  by  means 
of  a  plot." 

"Oh,"  said  the  Great  Detective,  "but  I  have.  The  fact  that  you 
have  noticed  my  reticence  —  " 

"Your  what?" 

"My  reticence,"  repeated  the  Great  Detective,  "on  this  matter  - 

"I  found  it  by  elimination,"  J.  Smith  said.  "It  was  the  sole  West 
End  appearance  this  season  of  your  reticence." 

"Only  my  modesty  has  prevented  me  —  " 

"Your  —  " 

"My  modesty." 

"That,  I  take  it,"  said  J.  Smith  carefully,  "is  another  middle  name 
of  yours  that  has  hitherto  escaped  my  notice.  You  wish  me  to  assume, 
I  suppose,  that  you  notably  distinguished  yourself  against  this  bloke?" 

The  Great  Detective  looked  displeased. 

"I  should  hardly  have  called  him  a  bloke,"  he  replied.  "He  was  a 
graduate  of  one  of  the  older  universities  and  an  extremely  rich  man. 
He  had  gold-rimmed  ventilation  holes  in  his  hat.  That  was  what 
first  attracted  my  attention  to  him;  it  was  only  later  that  I  began  to 
get  some  glimmering  of  his  diabolical  plot." 

"To  overthrow  the  British  Empire?" 

"To  strike,"  said  the  Great  Detective,  "at  its  very  roots." 

"I  knew  it  would  be  one  or  the  other,"  J.  Smith  nodded.  "How?" 

"It  was  a  long  time  before  I  found  out  —  " 

"You  didn't  have  to  tell  me  that,  either." 

"The  country  was  being  terrorized  by  an  infamous  secret  society," 
went  on  the  Great  Detective,  "known  as  the  Hippy  Hops.  I  see  you 
smile;  there  is,  I  admit,  something  humorous  about  the  name.  It 
was  originally  a  band  of  children  —  those  children  who  read  every 
day  of  the  adventures  of  Hippety  Hop,  Hoppety  Hip  and  Boomph, 
on  the  Children's  Page  of  that  great  London  newspaper  the  Daily. 
Hippety  Hop  and  Hoppety  Hip,  if  I  remember  rightly,  were  badgers." 

"Badgers?" 

"Badgers.  Boomph,  on  the  other  hand,  was  a  South  Australian 
wombat.  Their  adventures  were  bizarre  in  the  extreme.  But  when  I 


334  THE    CASE    OF    THE    DIABOLICAL    PLOT 

was  on  the  case  the  Hippy  Hops  as  a  children's  society  had  long 
ceased  to  exist;  the  name  was  now  applied  to  a  band  of  ruthless  men 
who  were  terrorizing  the  country  at  the  bidding  of  a  master-mind. 
Every  morning  there  was  news  of  some  fresh  criminal  act  of  theirs. 
Every  morning  some  householder  would  complain  that  he  had  lost 
the  keys  of  his  piano." 

"Lost  the  keys  of  his  piano?" 

"To  the  last  sharp  —  to  the  last  flat." 

"Do  you  mean  to  tell  me,"  enquired  J.  Smith  hoarsely,  "that  these 
Hiccups  or  whatever  they  were  galloped  about  the  country  pinching 
piano  keys?" 

The  Great  Detective  nodded  with  gravity.  "I  do.  That  was  the 
most  curious  aspect  of  the  matter.  No  one  could  imagine  what  they 
meant  to  do  with  all  these  piano  keys.  At  the  same  time  robberies 
of  circus  elephants  began  to  increase  to  an  alarming  extent.  Losses 
were  reported  from  circus  after  circus  throughout  the  land;  and  the 
crowning  touch  came  one  morning  when  all  the  elephants  at  the  Zoo 
were  found  to  have  vanished  without  trace  during  the  night.  It  was 
when  the  billiard-saloon  outrages  started  that  I  had  my  inspiration. 
Men  disguised  as  badgers  —  " 

"And  wombats?" 

"Possibly  —  broke  into  billiard  halls  and  billiard  rooms  all  over  the 
country,  held  up  the  players,  if  necessary  with  revolvers,  and  stole 
all  the  billiard  balls  they  could  lay  their  hands  on.  Thousands  upon 
thousands  of  billiard  balls  disappeared  utterly  in  this  way  within  a 
day  or  two." 

"And  what  did  you  do  with  your  inspiration?" 

The  Great  Detective  drew  himself  up.  "I  acted  upon  it  swiftly 
and  —  ahem! — terribly.  The  Foreign  Office  had  given  me  a  free 
hand.  Realizing  where  the  next  blow  would  fall,  I  put  an  armed 
policeman  in  the  bedrooms  and  the  library  of  practically  every  well- 
to-do  household  in  the  country.  I  was  triumphantly  justified.  That 
very  night  each  of  those  policemen  was  in  a  position  to  arrest  a  mem- 
ber of  the  Hippy  Hops.  Each  bedroom  was  visited  by  one  of  these 
ruthless  criminals  in  search  of  ivory-backed  hair-brushes;  each  library 
by  one  hoping  to  steal  some  ivory  chessmen.  This,"  the  Great 
Detective  explained,  coughing  pompously,  "I  had  foreseen.  The  mas- 
ter criminal  behind  the  Hippy  Hops  was  out  to  corner  ivory." 


THE    CASE    OF    THE    DIABOLICAL    PLOT  335 

"This  cheese  whom  you  dignify  by  the  title  of  master  criminal," 
remarked  J.  Smith,  "seems  to  me  to  have  suffered  from  divided  aims. 
How  could  he  hope  to  do  well  with  his  ivory  cornering  when  all  the 
time  his  heart  was  in  striking  at  the  very  roots  of  the  British  Empire? 

"One  aim,"  explained  the  Great  Detective,  "was  incidental  to  the 
other.  Investigating  further,  I  was  amazed  at  the  grandiosity  of  the 
scheme.  Soon  after  this,  if  I  had  not  acted,  table-knives,  paper-knives 
and  napkin-rings  would  have  begun  to  go;  and  in  due  course 
practically  all  the  ivory  in  the  country  would  have  been  in  the  hands 
of  that  criminal." 

"But  the  sources  of  supply  - 

"Teeming,"  said  the  Great  Detective,  "with  his  agents.  Had 
not  broken  up  the  gang  one  trembles  to  think  of  the  result,  for  a 
satellite  or  minion  of  the  leader  had  the  ear  of  the  Prime  Minister. 
Egged  on  by  him,  the  Government  had  entered  into  a  contract  to 
supply  a  foreign  Power  with  vast  quantities  of  ivory.  Had  they  been 
unable  to  fulfil  it  there  would  probably  have  been  a  war.  And  in  a 

)5 

war  — 

"Don't  tell  me  —  don't  tell  me!"  said  J.  Smith.  "In  a  war  we  should 
have  been  defeated,  because  ivory  was  the  only  thing  that  could  stand 
against  a  deadly  ray  invented  by  this  feller  and  sold  to  the  foreign 
Power  beforehand.  Am  I  right?" 

"You  are,"  said  the  Great  Detective  complacently. 

"Ha!"  J.  Smith  remarked.  "Now  tell  me  that  tin  tie-pin  of  yours 
was  given  you  as  a  memento  by  the  Prime  Minister  and  then  perhaps 
I  can  get  some  sleep." 


Detective:  SHERLOCK  HOLMES 


CHRISTMAS   EVE 
by  S.  C.  ROBERTS 


Until  now  "Christmas  Eve"  has  been  to  all  intents  and  purposes 
unavailable  to  the  general  public.  Its  only  previous  appearance 
was  the  author's  private  edition,  printed  in  79^6  by  the  Uni- 
versity Press  of  Cambridge,  England,  and  limited  to  100  copies. 
We  are  happy  to  bring  you  this  coveted  collector's  item,  one 
of  the  rarest  pastiches  of  Sherlock^  Holmes. 


(SHERLOCK  HOLMES,  disguised  as  a  loafer,  is  discovered  probing 
in  a  sideboard  cupboard  for  something  to  eat  and  drin^.) 

HOLMES  :  Where  in  the  world  is  that  decanter  ?  I'm  sure  I  — 

(Enter  DR.  WATSON,  who  sees  only  the  bac\  of 
HOLMES'S  stooping  figure) 

WATSON:  ("Turning  quickly  and  whispering  hoarsely  off  stage)  Mrs. 
Hudson!  Mrs.  Hudson!  My  revolver,  quick.  There's  a  burglar  in 
Mr.  Holmes's  room.  (WATSON  exits) 

HOLMES:  Ah,  there's  the  decanter  at  last.  But  first  of  all  I  may  as 
well  discard  some  of  my  properties.  (Tafes  off  cap,  coat,  beard, 
etc.,  and  puts  on  dressing  gown)  My  word,  I'm  hungry.  (Begins  to 
eat  sandwich)  But,  bless  me,  I've  forgotten  the  siphon!  (Stoops 
at  cupboard  in  same  attitude  as  before) 

(Enter  WATSON,  followed  by  MRS.  HUDSON) 
WATSON  :  (Sternly)  Now,  my  man,  put  those  hands  up. 

HOLMES  :  (Turning  round)  My  dear  Watson,  why  this  sudden  passion 
for  melodrama? 

WATSON:  Holmes! 


CHRISTMAS    EVE  337 

HOLMES:  Really,  Watson,  to  be  the  victim  of  a  murderous  attack  at 
'  your  hands,  of  all  people's  -and  on  Christmas  Eve,  too. 
WATSON:  But  a  minute  ago,  Holmes,  there  was  a  viUainous4ookmg 
scoundrel  trying  to  wrench  open  that  cupboard  -  a  really  criminal 
type.  I  caught  a  glimpse  of  his  face. 

HOLMES-  Well,  well,  my  dear  Watson,  I  suppose  I  ought  to  be  grate- 

?ulfor  the  compliment  to  my  make-up.  The  fact  is  that  I  have 

spent  the  day  loafing  at  the  corner  of  a  narrow  street  leading  ,  out 

of  the  Waterloo  Road.  They  were  all  quite  friendly  to  me  there. 

Yes  I  obtained  the  last  little  piece  of  evidence  that  I  wanted 

io'  dear  up  that  case  of  the  Kentish  Town  safe  robbery  -you 

remember?  Quite  an  interesting  case,  but  all  over  now. 

MRS.  HUDSON:  Lor',  Mr.  'Olmes,  how  you  do  go  on.  Still,  I'm  learnm 

never  to  be  surprised  at  anything  now. 
HOLMES:  Capital,  Mrs.  Hudson.  That's  what  every  criminal  investiga- 

tor has  to  learn,  isn't  it,  Watson?  (MRS.  HUDSON  leaves) 
WATSON:  Well,  I  suppose  so,  Holmes.  But  you  must  feel  very  pleased 
to  think  you've  got  that  Kentish  Town  case  off  your  mind  before 
Christmas. 


shck   season    I  suppose  even  criminals'  hearts  are  softened.  The 
esuh      hat  I  have'nothing  to  do  but  to  look  out  of  the  window  and 

watch  other  people  being  busy.  That  litde  pawnbroker  at  the 

corner,  for  instance,  you  know  the  one,  Watsoi 
WATSON:  Yes,  of  course. 

HOLMES:  One  of  the  many  shops  you  have  often  seen,  but  never 
observed  my  dear  Watson.  If  you  had  watched  that  pawnbroker's 
tn  door  a  carefully  as  I  have  during  the  last  ten  days  you  would 
have  noted  a  striking  increase  in  his  trade;  you  might  have  ob- 
served  also  some  remf  rkably  well-to-do  people  going  mto  *e  shop 
There's  one  well-set-up  young  woman  whom  I  have  seen  at  1 
four  times.  Curious  to  think  what  her  business  may  have  been. 


33$  CHRISTMAS    EVE 

.  .  .  But  it's  a  shame  to  depress  your  Christmas  spirit,  Watson.  I 
see  that  you  are  particularly  cheerful  this  evening. 

WATSON  :  Well,  yes,  I  don't  mind  admitting  that  I  am  feeling  quite 
pleased  with  things  today. 

HOLMES:  So  "Rio  Tintos"  have  paid  a  good  dividend,  have  they? 
WATSON:  My  dear  Holmes,  how  on  earth  do  you  know  that? 

HOLMES:  Elementary,  my  dear  Watson.  You  told  me  years  ago  that 
"Rio  Tintos"  was  the  one  dividend  which  was  paid  in  through 
your  bank  and  not  direct  to  yourself.  You  come  into  my  room  with 
an  envelope  of  a  peculiar  shade  of  green  sticking  out  of  your  coat 
pocket.  That  particular  shade  is  used  by  your  bank  —  Cox's  —  and 
by  no  other,  so  far  as  I  am  aware.  Clearly,  then,  you  have  just 
obtained  your  pass-book  from  the  bank  and  your  cheerfulness 
must  proceed  from  the  good  news  which  it  contains.  Ex  hypothesi, 
that  news  must  relate  to  "Rio  Tintos." 

WATSON:  Perfectly  correct,  Holmes;  and  on  the  strength  of  the  good 
dividend,  I  have  deposited  ten  good,  crisp,  five-pound  notes  in  the 
drawer  of  my  dressing  table  just  in  case  we  should  feel  like  a  little 
jaunt  after  Christmas. 

HOLMES:  That  was  charming  of  you,  Watson.  But  in  my  present 
state  of  inertia  I  should  be  a  poor  holiday  companion.  Now  if  only 
—  (Knoc\  at  door)  Come  in. 

MRS.  HUDSON  :  Please  sir,  there's  a  young  lady  to  see  you. 

HOLMES  :  What  sort  of  young  lady,  Mrs.  Hudson  ?  Another  of  these 
young  women  wanting  half  a  crown  towards  some  Christmas 
charity  ?  If  so,  Dr.  Watson's  your  man,  Mrs.  Hudson.  He's  bursting 
with  bank-notes  today. 

MRS.  HUDSON:  I'm  sure  I'm  very  pleased  to  'ear  it,  sir;  but  this  lady 
ain't  that  kind  at  all,  sir.  She's  sort  of  agitated,  like  .  .  .  very  anxious 
to  see  you  and  quite  scared  of  meeting  you  at  the  same  time,  if  you 
take  my  meaning,  sir. 

HOLMES:  Perfectly,  Mrs.  Hudson.  Well,  Watson,  what  are  we  to 
do?  Are  we  to  interview  this  somewhat  unbalanced  young  lady? 


CHRISTMAS    EVE  339 

WATSON:  I£  the  poor  girl  is  in  trouble,  Holmes,  I  think  you  might 

at  least  hear  what  she  has  to  say. 
HOLMES:  Chivalrous  as  ever,  my  dear  Wa,»n- bring  the  lady  up, 

Mrs.  Hudson. 

MRS.  HUDSON:  Very  good,  sir  (To  the  lady  outside)  This  way,  M.ss. 
(Enter  Miss  VIOLET  DE  VINNE,  an  elegant  but 

distracted  girl  of  about  twenty-two) 
HOLMES:  (Bowing  slightly)  You  wish  to  consult  me? 
M,ss  DE  V.NNE:  (Nervously)  Are  you  Mr.  Sherlock  Holmes 
HOLMES:  I  am-and  this  is  my  friend  and  colleague,  Dr.  Wa.son. 
WATSON:  (Coming  forward  and  holding  out  hand)  Charmed,  I  am 
sure,  Miss  — 

";r  ;<:;±  £A~  S  ~  " 

as  possible? 

M,ss  DE  VINNE:  I  will  try,  Mr.  Holmes.  My  name  is  de  Vinne.  My 

I*er  and  I  live  together  in  Bayswater.  We  are  not  very  we 

off,  but  my  father  was  ...  well  ...  a  gentleman.  The  Counte 

of  Barton  is  one  of  our  oldest  friends  - 

HOLMES:  (Interrupting)  And  the  owner  of  a  very  wonderful  pearl 

necklace. 

Miss  DE  VINNE:  (Started)  How  do  you  know  that,  Mr.  Holmes? 
HOLMES:  I  am  afraid  it  is  my  business  to  know  quite  a  lot  about 

other  people's  affairs.  But  I'm  sorry.  I  interrupted.  ( 
Miss  DE  VINNE:  Two  or  three  times  a  week  I  spend  the  day  with  Lady 
Barton  and  act  as  her  secretary  in  a  casual,  friend  1, ^  way      wr 
letters  for  her  and  arrange  her  dinner-tables  when  she 
and  do  other  little  odd  jobs. 
HOLMES:  Lady  Barton  is  fortunate,  eh,  Watson? 
WATSON:  Yes,  indeed,  Holmes. 
Miss  DE  VINNE:  This  afternoon  a  terrible  thing  happened.  I  was  ar- 


34°  CHRISTMAS    EVE 

ranging  some  flowers  when  Lady  Barton  came  in  looking  deathly 
white.  "Violet,"  she  said,  "the  pearls  are  gone."  "Heavens,"  I 
cried,  "what  do  you  mean?"  "Well,"  she  said,  "having  quite  un- 
expectedly had  an  invitation  to  a  reception  on  January  5th,  I  thought 
I  would  make  sure  that  the  clasp  was  all  right.  When  I  opened 
the  case  (you  know  the  special  place  where  I  keep  it)  it  was 
empty  —  that's  all."  She  looked  as  if  she  was  going  to  faint,  and 
I  felt  much  the  same. 

HOLMES:  (Quickly)  And  did  you  faint? 

Miss  DE  VINNE:  No,  Mr.  Holmes,  we  pulled  ourselves  together  some- 
how and  I  asked  her  whether  she  was  going  to  send  for  the  police, 
but  she  wouldn't  hear  of  it.  She  said  Jim  (that's  her  husband) 
hated  publicity  and  would  be  furious  if  the  pearls  became  "copy" 
for  journalists.  But  of  course  she  agreed  that  something  had  to  be 
done  and  so  she  sent  me  to  you. 

HOLMES:  Oh,  Lady  Barton  sent  you? 

Miss  DE  VINNE  :  Well,  not  exactly.  You  see,  when  she  refused  to  send 
for  the  police,  I  remembered  your  name  and  implored  her  to  write 
you  ...  and  ...  well  .  .  .  here  I  am  and  here's  the  letter.  That's 
all,  Mr.  Holmes. 

HOLMES:  I  see.  (Begins  to  read  letter}  Well,  my  dear  lady,  neither 
you  nor  Lady  Barton  has  given  me  much  material  on  which  to 
work  at  present. 

Miss  DE  VINNE:  I  am  willing  to  answer  any  questions,  Mr.  Holmes. 
HOLMES:  You  live  in  Bayswater,  Miss  Winnie? 
WATSON:  (Whispering)  "De  Vinne,"  Holmes. 

HOLMES:  (Ignoring  WATSON)  You  said  Bayswater,  I  think,  Miss 
Winnie  ? 

Miss  DE  VINNE:  Quite  right,  Mr.  Holmes,  but  — forgive  me,  my 
name  is  de  Vinne. 

HOLMES  :  I'm  sorry,  Miss  Dwinney  — 

Miss  DE  VINNE:  DE  VINNE,  Mr.  Holmes,  D...E...V... 

HOLMES  :  How  stupid  of  me.  I  think  the  chill  I  caught  last  week  must 


CHRISTMAS    EVE  341 

have  left  a  little  deafness  behind  it.  But  to  save  further  stupidity  on 
my  part,  just  write  your  name  and  address  for  me,  w,  1  you  ?(Hand 
hi  pen  and  fafcr.  on  u,h,ch  M,ss  DE  V.NNE  ««i«)  That  s  better 
Now,  tell  me,  Miss  de  Vinne,  how  do  you  find  Bayswater  for 

shopping? 
Miss  DE  VINNE:   (Surprised)   Oh,  I   don't  know.  Mr.  Holmes,  I 

hardly  — 

HOLMES:  You  don't  care  for  Whrteley's,  for  instance? 
Miss  DE  VINNE:  Well,  not  very  much.  But  I  can't  see  ... 
HOLMES:  I  entirely  agree  with  you,  Miss  de  Vinnc.  Yet  Watson,  you 

know,  is  devoted  to  that  place  -  spends  hours  thei 
WATSON  :  Holmes,  what  nonsense  are  you  — 
HOLMES:  But  I  think  you  are  quite  right,  Miss  de  Vinne.  Harrod's 

is  a  great  deal  better  in  my  opinion. 

Miss  DE  VINNE:  But  I  never  go  to  Harrod's,  Mr.  Holmes   in  fact  1 
hardly  ever  go  to  any  big  store,  except  for  one  or  two  things.  But 
what  has  this  got  to  do  — 
HOLMES:  Well,  in  principle,  I  don't  care  for  them  much  either,  but 

they're  convenient  sometimes. 

Miss  DE  VINNE:  Yes,  I  find  the  Army  and  Navy  stores  useful  now 
and  then,  but  why  on  earth  are  we  talking  about  shops  and  stores 
when  the  thing  that  matters  is  Lady  Barton's  necklac 
HOLMES:  Ah,  yes,  I  was  coming  to  that.  (Pauses)  I'm  sorry,  Miss 

de  Vinne,  but  I'm  afraid  I  can't  take  up  this  case. 
Miss  DE  VINNE:  You  refuse,  Mr.  Holmes? 

HOLMES:  I  am  afraid  I  am  obliged  to  do  so.  It  is  a  case  that  would  in- 
evitably take  some  time.  I  am  in  sore  need  of  a  holiday  and  only 
today  my  devoted  friend  Watson  has  made  all  arrangements  to 
take  me  on  a  Mediterranean  cruise  immediately  after  < 
WATSON  :  Holmes,  this  is  absurd.  You  know  that  I  merely  - 
Miss  DE  VINNE:  Dr.  Watson,  if  Mr.  Holmes  can't  help  me   won't 
you?  You  don't  know  how  terrible  all  this  is  for  me  as  well  as 
Lady  Barton. 


342  CHRISTMAS    EVE 

WATSON:  My  dear  lady,  I  have  some  knowledge  of  my  friend's 
methods  and  they  often  seem  incomprehensible.  Holmes,  you 
can't  mean  this? 

HOLMES:  Certainly  I  do,  my  dear  Watson.  But  I  am  unwilling  that 
any  lady  should  leave  this  house  in  a  state  of "  distress.  (Goes  to 
door)  Mrs.  Hudson! 

MRS.  HUDSON:  Coming,  sir.  (Mas.  HUDSON  enters) 

HOLMES  :  Mrs.  Hudson,  be  good  enough  to  conduct  this  lady  to  Dr. 
Watson's  dressing  room.  She  is  tired  and  a  little  upset.  Let  her 
rest  on  the  sofa  there  while  Dr.  Watson  and  I  have  a  few  minutes' 
quiet  talk. 

MRS.  HUDSON  :  Very  good,  sir. 

(Exeunt  MRS.  HUDSON  and  Miss  DE  VINNE,  the  latter 
looking  appealingly  at  DR.  WATSON) 

HOLMES:  (Lighting  cherry-wood  pipe)  Well,  Watson? 

WATSON:  Well,  Holmes,  in  all  my  experience  I  don't  think  I  have 
ever  seen  you  so  unaccountably  ungracious  to  a  charming  girl. 

HOLMES  :  Oh,  yes,  she  has  charm,  Watson  —  they  always  have.  What 
do  you  make  of  her  story  ? 

WATSON:  Not  very  much,  I  confess.  It  seemed  fairly  clear  as  far 
as  it  went,  but  you  wouldn't  let  her  tell  us  any  detail.  Instead,  you 
began  a  perfectly  ridiculous  conversation  about  the  comparative 
merits  of  various  department  stores.  I've  seldom  heard  you  so 
inept. 

HOLMES:  Then  you  accept  her  story? 
WATSON:  Why  not? 

HOLMES  :  Why  not,  my  dear  Watson  ?  Because  the  whole  thing  is  a 
parcel  of  lies. 

WATSON:  But,  Holmes,  this  is  unreasoning  prejudice. 

HOLMES  :  Unreasoning,  you  say  ?  Listen,  Watson.  This  letter  purports 
to  have  come  from  the  Countess  of  Barton.  I  don't  know  her 
Ladyship's  handwriting,  but  I  was  struck  at  once  by  its  labored 
character,  as  exhibited  in  this  note.  It  occurred  to  me,  further,  that 


CHRISTMAS    EVE 

it  might  be  useful  to  obtain  a  speamen  of  Miss  de  Vinne's  to  put 
alo™  side  it  -  hence  my  tiresome  inability  to  catch  her  name  Nov. 
my  dear  Watson,  I  call  your  particular  attent.on  to  the  c.p.t.1  B  s 
which  happen  to  occur  in  both  specimens. 
W.TSON:  They're  quite  different,  Holmes  but  -  yes,  they've  both 

got  a  peculiar  curl  where  the  letter  finishes. 
HOLMES-  Point  No.  i,  my  dear  Watson,  but  an  isolated  one  Now, 
"gh  I  could  not  recognize  the  handwriting,  I  knew  thjs  note- 
paper  as  soon  as  I  saw  and  felt  it.  Look  at  the  watermark,  Watson, 
and  tell  me  what  you  find. 
WATSON  :  (Holding  the  paper  to  the  light)  A.  and  N.  (After  a  pause) 

Army  and  Navy  .  .  .  Why,  Holmes,  d'you  mean  that- 
HOLMES:  I  mean  that  this  letter  was  written  by  your  charming  friend 

in  the  name  of  the  Countess  of  Barton. 
WATSON:  And  what  follows? 

HOLMES:  Ah,  that  is  what  we  are  left  to  conjecture.  What  will  follow 
immediately  is  another  interview  with  the  young  woman  who  ca  1 
herself  Violet  de  Vmne.  By  the  way,  Watson  after  you  had  finished 
threatening  me  with  that  nasty-looking  revolver  a  little  while  ago, 
what  did  you  do  with  the  instrument? 
WATSON:  It's  here,  Holmes,  in  my  pocket. 
HOLMES:  Then,  having  left  my  own  in  my  bedroom,  I  think  I'll 

borrow  it,  if  you  don't  mind. 
WATSON:  But  surely,  Holmes,  you  don't  suggest  that- 

HOLMES:  My  dear  Watson,  I  suggest  no^g~f Ce£.^^  ^ 
possibly  find  ourselves  in  rather  deeper  waters  than  Miss  d   Vmne 
ch  rm  and  innocence  have  hitherto  led  you  to  expect.  (Goes  to 
/ooOMrs.  Hudson,  ask  the  lady  to  be  good  enough  to  rqoin  us. 

MRS.  HUDSON:  (Off)  Very  good,  sir. 

(Enter  Miss  DE  VINNE) 

HOLMES:  (Amiably)  Well,  Miss  de  Vinne,  are  you  rested? 
Miss  DE  VINNE:  Well,  a  little  perhaps,  but  as  you  can  do  nothing 
forme,  hadn't  I  better  go? 


344  CHRISTMAS    EVE 

HOLMES:  You  look  a  little  flushed,  Miss  de  Vinne;  do  you  feel  the 
room  rather  too  warm  ? 

Miss  DE  VINNE:  No,  Mr.  Holmes,  thank  you,  I  — 
HOLMES:  Anyhow,  won't  you  slip  your  coat  off  and  — 
Miss  DE  VINNE:  Oh  no,  really.  (Gathers  coat  round  her) 

HOLMES:  (Threateningly)  Then,  if  you  won't  take  your  coat  off, 
d'you  mind  showing  me  what  is  in  the  right-hand  pocket  of  it? 
(A  loo^  of  terror  comes  on  Miss  DE  VINNE'S  face)  The  game's  up, 
Violet  de  Vinne.  (Points  revolver,  at  which  Miss  DE  VINNE  screams 
and  throws  up  her  hands)  Watson,  oblige  me  by  removing  what- 
ever you  may  discover  in  the  right-hand  pocket  of  Miss  de  Vinne's 
coat. 

WATSON:  (Taking  out  note-case)  My  own  note-case,  Holmes,  with 
the  ten  five-pound  notes  in  it! 

HOLMES:  Ah! 

Miss  DE  VINNE:  (Distractedly)  Let  me  speak,  let  me  speak.  I'll  ex- 
plain everything. 

HOLMES:  Silence!  Watson,  was  there  anything  else  in  the  drawer  of 
your  dressing  table  besides  your  note-case? 

WATSON  :  I'm  not  sure,  Holmes. 

HOLMES  :  Then  I  think  we  had  better  have  some  verification. 

Miss  DE  VINNE  :  No,  no.  Let  me  — 

HOLMES:  Mrs.  Hudson! 

MRS.  HUDSON:  (Off)  Coming,  sir. 

HOLMES:  (To  MRS.  HUDSON  off)  Kindly  open  the  right-hand  drawer 
of  Dr.  Watson's  dressing  table  and  bring  us  anything  that  you 
may  find  in  it. 

Miss  DE  VINNE  :  Mr.  Holmes,  you  are  torturing  me.  Let  me  tell  you 
everything. 

HOLMES  :  Your  opportunity  will  come  in  due  course,  but  in  all  prob- 
ability before  a  different  tribunal.  I  am  a  private  detective,  not  a 
Criminal  Court  judge.  (Miss  DE  VINNE  weeps) 


CHRISTMAS    EVE  345 

(Enter  MRS.  HUDSON  with  jewel  case} 

MRS  HUDSON:  I  found  this,  sir.  But  it  must  be  something  new  that 
the  doctor's  been  buying.  I've  never  seen  it  before.  (MRS.  I 
leaves} 

HOLMES:  Ah,  Watson,  more  surprises!  (Opens  case  and  holds  up  a 
string  of  pearls)  The  famous  pearls  belonging  to  the  Counte 
Barton,  if  I'm  not  mistaken. 

Miss  DE  VINNE:  For  pity's  sake,  Mr.  Holmes,  let  me  speak  Even  the 
lowest  criminal  has  that  right  left  him.  And  this  time  I  will  tell 
you  the  truth. 

HOLMES:  (Sceptically)  The  truth?  Well? 

Miss  DE  VINNE:  Mr.  Holmes,  I  have  an  only  brother.  He's  a  dear 
'  -I  love  him  better  than  anyone  in  the  world -but,  God  forgive 
him,  he's  a  scamp  .  .  .  always  in  trouble,  always  in  debt   Thro 
days  ago  he  wrote  to  me  that  he  was  in  an  even  deeper  hole  than 
usual   If  he  couldn't  raise  fifty  pounds  in  the  course  of  a  week, 
he  would  be  done  for  and,  worse  than  that,  dishonored  and  dis- 
graced forever.  I  couldn't  bear  it.  I'd  no  money.  I  daren ^t  tell  my 
mother.  I  swore  to  myself  that  I'd  get  that  fifty  pounds  if  I  had  t 
steal  it.  That  same  day  at  Lady  Barton's,  I  was  looking,  as  I  d  often 
looked,  at  the  famous  pearls.  An  idea  suddenly  came  to  me.  They 
were  worn  only  once  or  twice  a  year  on  special  occasions.  Why 
shouldn't  I  pawn  them  for  a  month  or  so?  I  could  surely  get  fifty 
pounds  for  them  and  then  somehow  I  would  scrape  together  the 
money  to  redeem  them.  It  was  almost  certain  that  Lady  Barton 
wouldn't  want  them  for  six  months.  Oh,  I  know  I  was  mad,  but 
did  it  I  found  a  fairly  obscure  little  pawnbroker  quite  near  here, 
but  to  my  horror  he  wouldn't  take  the  pearls  -  looked  at  me  very 
suspiciously  and  wouldn't  budge,  though  I  went  to  him  two  c 
three  times.  Then,  this  afternoon,  the  crash  came.  When  Lady  Bar- 
ton discovered  that  the  pearls  were  missing  I  rushed  out  of  the 
house,  saying  that  I  would  tell  the  police.  But  actuaUy  I  went  home 
and  tried  to  think.  I  remembered  your  name.  A  wild  scheme  came 
into  my  head.  If  I  could  pretend  to  consult  you  and  somehow  leave 
the  pearls  in  your  house,  then  you  could  pretend  that  you  had  re- 
covered them  and  return  them  to  Lady  Barton.  Oh,  I  know  you  11 


CHRISTMAS    EVE 

laugh,  but  you  don't  know  how  distraught  I  was.  Then,  when  you 
sent  me  into  that  dressing  room,  I  prowled  about  like  a  caged 
animal.  I  saw  those  banknotes  and  they  seemed  like  a  gift  from 
Heaven.  Why  shouldn't  I  leave  the  necklace  in  their  place?  You 
would  get  much  more  than  fifty  pounds  for  recovering  them  from 
Lady  Barton  and  I  should  save  my  brother.  There,  that's  all  ... 
and  now,  I  suppose,  I  exchange  Dr.  Watson's  dressing  room  for  a 
cell  at  the  police  station! 

HOLMES:  Well,  Watson? 

WATSON:  What  an  extraordinary  story,  Holmes! 

HOLMES:  Yes,  indeed.  (Turning  to  Miss  DE  VINNE)  Miss  de  Vinne, 
you  told  us  in  the  first  instance  a  plausible  story  of  which  I  did  not 
believe  a  single  word;  now  you  have  given  us  a  version  which  in 
many  particulars  seems  absurd  and  incredible.  Yet  I  believe  it  to 
be  the  truth.  Watson,  haven't  I  always  told  you  that  fact  is  im- 
measurably stranger  than  fiction? 

WATSON:  Certainly,  Holmes.  But  what  are  you  going  to  do? 

HOLMES  :  Going  to  do  ?  Why  —  er  —  I'm  going  to  send  for  Mrs. 
Hudson  (Calling  off  stage)  Mrs.  Hudson! 

MRS.  HUDSON:  (Off)  Coming,  sir.  (Enters)  Yes,  sir. 

HOLMES:  Oh,  Mrs.  Hudson,  what  are  your  views  about  Christmas? 

WATSON:  Really,  Holmes. 

HOLMES:  My  dear  Watson,  please  don't  interrupt.  As  I  was  saying, 
Mrs.  Hudson,  I  should  be  very  much  interested  to  know  how  you 
feel  about  Christmas. 

MRS.  HUDSON:  Lor',  Mr.  'Olmes,  what  questions  you  do  ask.  I  don't 
hardly  know  exactly  how  to  answer  but  .  .  .  well  ...  I  suppose 
Christmas  is  the  season  of  good  will  towards  men  —  and  women 
too,  sir,  if  I  may  say  so. 

HOLMES:  (Slowly)  "And  women  too."  You  observe  that,  Watson. 
WATSON:  Yes,  Holmes,  and  I  agree. 

HOLMES:  (To  Miss  DE  VINNE)  My  dear  young  lady,  you  will  observe 
that  the  jury  are  agreed  upon  their  verdict. 


CHRISTMAS    EVE  347 

Miss  DE  VINNE:  Oh,  Mr.  Holmes,  how  can  I  ever  thank  you? 
HOLMES:  Not  a  word.  You  must  thank  the  members  of,  the  jury  .  .  . 

Mrs.  Hudson! 
MRS.  HUDSON  :  Yes,  sir. 

HOLMES:  Take  Miss  de  Vinne,  not  into  Dr.  Watson's  room  this  time, 
but  into  your  own  comfortable  kitchen  and  give  her  a  cup  . 
famous  tea. 
MRS.  HUDSON:  How  do  the  young  lady  take  it,  sir?  Rather  stronghke, 

with  a  bit  of  a  tang  to  it? 

HOLMES:  You  must  ask  her  that  yourself.  Anyhow  Mrs.  Hudson, 
give  her  a  cup  that  cheers. 

(Exeunt  MRS.  HUDSON  and  Miss  DE  VINNE) 

WATSON:  (In  the  highest  spirits)  Half  a  minute,  Mrs  Hudson  I'm 
coming  to  see  that  Miss  de  Vinne  has  her  tea  as  she  likes  it.  And  I 
tell  you  what,  Holmes  (Looking  towards  Miss  DE  VINNE  and  hold- 
ing up  note-case},  you  are  not  going  to  get  your  Mediterranean 
cruise. 

(As  WATSON  goes  out,  carol-singers  are  heard  in  the 

distance  singing  "Good  King  Wenceslas.") 

HOLMES:  (Relighting  his  pipe  and  smiling  meditatively)  Christmas 
Eve! 


CURTAIN 


THE    MAN  WHO  WAS   NOT   DEAD 
by  MANLY  WADE  WELLMAN 


It  is  singularly  fitting  that  the  last  story  in  our  boo\,  reprinted 
from  "Argosy"  magazine,  August  9,  7947,  should  have  as  its 
underlying  theme  the  most  important  issue  in  our  lives  — the 
winning  of  the  war. 

Mr.  Sherlocf^  Holmes,  you'll  remember,  did  his  bit  in  World 
War  I,  but  it  was  not,  than\  the  Lord,  His  Last  Bow. 

Holmes  will  never  die  — he  is  unconquered  and  uncon- 
querable. For  Sherloc^  Holmes  is  England. 


O, 


UT  OF  the  black  sky  plummeted  Doling,  toward  the  black  earth. 
He  knew  nothing  of  the  ground  toward  which  he  fell,  save  that  it 
was  five  miles  inland  from  the  Sussex  coast  and,  according  to  Dr, 
Goebbels's  best  information,  sparsely  settled. 

The  night  air  hummed  in  his  parachute  rigging,  and  he  seemed  to 
drop  faster  than  ten  feet  a  second,  but  to  think  of  that  was  unworthy 
of  a  trusted  agent  of  the  German  Intelligence.  Though  the  pilot  above 
had  not  dared  drop  him  a  light,  Boling  could  land  without  much 
mishap.  .  .  .  Even  as  he  told  himself  that,  land  he  did.  He  struck 
heavily  on  hands  and  knees,  and  around  him  settled  the  limp  folds 
of  the  parachute. 

At  once  he  threw  off  the  harness,  wadded  the  fabric  and  thrust  it 
out  of  sight  between  a  boulder  and  a  bush.  Standing  up,  he  took  stock 
of  himself.  The  left  leg  of  his  trousers  was  torn,  and  the  knee  skinned 
—  that  was  all.  He  remembered  that  William  the  Conquerer  had  also 
gone  sprawling  when  he  landed  at  Hastings,  not  so  far  from  here.  The 
omen  was  good.  Boling  stooped,  like  Duke  William,  and  clutched  a 
handful  of  pebbles. 

"Thus  do  I  seize  the  land!"  he  quoted  aloud,  for  he  was  at  heart 
theatrical. 


THE    MAN    WHO    WAS    NOT   DEAD  349 

His  name  was  not  really  Boling,  though  he  had  prospered  under 
that  and  other  aliases.  Nor,  though  he  wore  the  uniform  of  a  Bntis 
private,  was  he  British.  Born  in  Chicago  late  m  1917,  of  unsavory 
parents,  he  had  matured  to  a  notable  career  of  imposture  and  theft 
He  had  entered  the  employment  of  the  Third  Re.ch,  not  for  love  of 
its  cause  or  thirst  for  adventure,  but  for  the  very  high  rate  of  pay 
Boling  was  practical  as  well  as  gifted.  He  had  gladly  accepted  *e 
present  difficult  and  dangerous  mission,  which  might  well  be  the 


^wn  came  and  peered  over  his  shoulder 
Bolmg  saw  that  he  was  on  a  grassy  slope,  wi^an.ill-used  grave 
road  below  it.  Just  across  that  road  showed  lighted  windows  -  a 
house  with  early  risers.  He  walked  toward  those  lights 

Which  way  was  Eastbourne,  was  his  first  problem.  He  had  never 
seen  the  town;  he  had  only  the  name  and  telephone  number  there  ot 
one  Philip  Davis  who,  if  addressed  by  him  as  "Uncle,"  would  know 
that  the  time  had  arrived  to  muster  fifteen  others. 

They,  in  turn,  would  gather  waiting  comrades  from  the  surround 
ing  community,  picked,  hard  men  who  whole  years  ago  had  tab 
lodging  and  stored  arms  thereabouts.  These  would  organize  and 
operate  a.  a  crack  infantry  battalion.  After  that,  the  well-tested  routine 
that  had  helped  to  conquer  Norway,  Holland,  Belgium,  France  - 
seizure  of  communications,  blowing  up  of  rails  and  roads,  capt 


ee  would  drop  in  parachutes  from  overhead,  as  he, 

Boling  had  done.  At  dusk  this  would  be  done.  In  the  night,  East- 
bourne would  be  firmly  held,  with  a  picked  invasion  corps  Ian 


ossnge  road  toward  the  house,  Boling  considered  the  matter 
as  good  as  accomplished.  He  needed  only  a  word  from  the  house- 
dwellers  to  set  him  on  his  way. 

He  found  the  opening  in  the  chin-high  hedge  of  brambles  and 
flowering  bushes,  and  in  the  strengthening  light  he  trod  warily  up 
the  flagged  path.  The  house,  now  visible,  was  only  a  one-story  cottage 
of  white  plaster,  with  a  roof  of  dark  tiling.  Gaining  the  doorstep, 
Bolmg  swung  the  tarnished  knocker  against  the  stout  oak  panel. 

Silence.  Then  heavy  steps  and  a  mumbling  voice.  The  door  creaked 


35°  THE    MAN    WHO    WAS    NOT    DEAD 

open.  A  woman  in  shawl  and  cap,  plump  and  very  old  —  past  ninety, 
it  seemed  to  Boling  — put  out  a  face  like  a  cheerful  walnut. 

"Good  morning,"  she  said.  "Yes,  who  is  that?"  Her  ancient  eyes 
blinked  behind  small,  thick  lenses  like  bottle  bottoms.  "Soldier, 
ain't  you?" 

"Right  you  are,"  he  responded  in  his  most  English  manner,  smiling 
to  charm  her.  This  crone  had  a  London  accent,  and  looked  simple 
and  good-humored.  "I'm  tramping  down  to  Eastbourne  to  visit  my 
uncle,"  he  went  on  plausibly,  "and  lost  my  way  on  the  downs  in 
the  dark.  Can  you  direct  me  on?" 

Before  the  old  woman  could  reply,  a  dry  voice  had  spoken  from 
behind  her:  "Ask  the  young  man  to  step  inside,  Mrs.  Hudson." 

The  old  woman  drew  the  door  more  widely  open.  Boling  entered 
one  of  those  living  rooms  that  have  survived  their  era.  In  the  light 
of  a  hanging  oil  lamp  he  could  see  walls  papered  in  blue  with  yellow 
flowers,  above  gray-painted  wainscoting.  On  a  center  table  lay  some 
old  books,  guarded  by  a  pudgy  china  dog.  At  the  rear,  next  a  dark 
inner  doorway,  blazed  a  small  but  cheerful  fire,  and  from  a  chair 
beside  it  rose  the  man  who  had  spoken. 

"If  you  have  walked  all  night,  you  will  be  tired,"  he  said  to  Boling. 
'"Stop  and  rest.  We're  about  to  have  some  tea.  Won't  you  join 
us?" 

"Thank  you,  sir,"  accepted  Boling  heartily.  This  was  another 
Londoner,  very  tall  and  as  gaunt  as  a  musket.  He  could  not  be  many 
years  younger  dian  the  woman  called  Mrs.  Hudson,  but  he  still  had 
vigor  and  presence. 

He  stood  quite  straight  in  his  shabbiest  of  blue  dressing  gowns.  The 
lamplight  revealed  a  long  hooked  nose  and  a  long  lean  chin,  with 
bright  eyes  of  blue  under  a  thatch  of  thistledown  hair.  Boling  thought 
of  Dr.  Punch  grown  old,  dignified  and  courteous.  The  right  hand 
seemed  loosely  clenched  inside  a  pocket  of  the  dressing  gown.  The 
left,  lean  and  fine,  held  a  blackened  old  briar  with  a  curved  stem. 

"I  see,"  said  this  old  gentleman,  his  eyes  studying  Boling's  insignia, 
"diat  you're  a  Fusilier  —  Northumberland." 

"Yes,  sir,  Fifth  Northumberland  Fusiliers,"  rejoined  Boling,  who 
had  naturally  chosen  for  his  disguise  die  badges  of  a  regiment  lying 
far  from  Sussex.  "As  I  told  your  good  housekeeper,  I'm  going  to  East- 
bourne. If  you  can  direct  me,  or  let  me  use  your  telephone  —  " 


THE    MAN    WHO    WAS    NOT    DEAD  351 

"I  am  sorry,  we  have  no  telephone,"  the  other  informed  him 

Mrs   HudL  gulped  and  goggled  at  that,  but  the  old  blue  eyes 

barely  flickered  a  message  at  her.  Again  the  gaunt  old  man  spok*. 

"There  is  a  telephone,  however,  in  the  house  just  behind  us -the 

a  policeman,  especially  an  odious 

country'one,  and  so  he  avoided  comment  on  the  last ^suggesnon.  In- 
stead  he  thanked  his  host  for  the  invitation  to  refreshment, 
woman  brought  in  a  tray  with  dishes  and  a  steaming  kettle,  and  a 
moment  later  they  were  joined  by  another  ancient  man. 

This  one  was  plump  and  tweedy,  with  a  dropping  gray  mustache 
and  wide  eyes  full  of  childish  innocence.  Boling  set  him  down  as  a 
doctor,  and  felt  a  glow  of  pride  in  his  own  acumen  when  the  newcome 
was  so  introduced.  So  pleased  was  Boling  with  himself,  indeed,  that 
he  did  not  bother  to  catch  the  doctor's  surname. 

"Th1S  young  man  is  of  your  old  regiment,  I  think     the  lean  man 
informed  the  fat  one.  "Fifth  Northumberland  Fusiliers. 

"Oh,  really?  Quite  so,  quite  so,"  chirruped  the  doctor  in  a  katy^d 
fashion  that  impelled  Boling  to  classify  him  as  a  simpleton.    Qu 

w  s  with  the  o'ld  Fifth-but  that  would  be  well  before  your  time 
young  man.  I  served  in  the  Afghan  War."  This  last  with  a  proud 
protruding  of  the  big  eyes.  For  a  moment  Boling  dreaded  a  torrent 
rrmu^cence;  but  me Punch-faced  man  had  just  finished  relighting 
his  curved  briar,  and  now  called  attention  to  the  tea  which  Mrs, 

HTt™  Dipped   gratefully.  Boling   permitted   him.lf  a 
moment  of  ironic  meditation  on  how  snug  it  was  so  shortly  1    for 
bombs  and  bayonets  would  engulf  this  and  all  other  houses  in  the 
neighborhood  of  Eastbourne. 

Mrs  Hudson  waddled  to  his  elbow  with  toasted  muffins.   Poor  lad, 
she  said  maternally,  "you've  torn  them  lovely  trousers 

From  the  other  side  of  the  fire  bright  blue  eyes  gazed  through  the 
smoke  of  strong  shag.  "Oh,  yes,"  said  the  dry  voice,  you  walked I  ova 
the  downs  at  night,  I  think  I  heard  you  say  when  you  came.  And  yo 

f     11   p  )5 

^"Yes,  sir,"  replied  Boling,  and  thrust  his  skinned  knee  into  view 
through  the  rip.  "No  great  injury,  however,  except  to  my  uniform. 
The  King  will  give  me  a  new  one,  what?" 


352  THE    MAN    WHO    WAS    NOT    DEAD 

"I  daresay,"  agreed  the  doctor,  lifting  his  mustache  from  his  tea- 
cup. "Nothing  too  good  for  the  old  regiment." 

That  led  to  discussion  of  the  glorious  past  of  the  Fifth  Northumber- 
land Fusiliers,  and  the  probable  triumphant  future.  Boling  made  the 
most  guarded  of  statements,  lest  the  pudgy  old  veteran  find  some- 
thing of  which  to  be  suspicious;  but,  to  bolster  his  pose,  he  fished 
forth  a  wad  of  painstakingly  forged  papers  —  pay-book,  billet  as- 
signment, pass  through  lines,  and  so  on.  The  gaunt  man  in  blue 
studied  them  with  polite  interest. 

"And  now,"  said  the  doctor,  "how  is  my  old  friend  Major  Amidon  ?" 

"Major  Amidon?"  repeated  Boling  to  gain  time,  and  glanced  as 
sharply  as  he  dared  at  his  interrogator.  Such  a  question  might  well 
be  a  trap,  simple  and  dangerous,  the  more  so  because  his  research 
concerning  the  Fifth  Northumberland  Fusiliers  had  not  supplied  him 
with  any  such  name  among  the  officers. 

But  then  he  took  stock  once  more  of  the  plump,  mild,  guileless 
face.  Boling,  cunning  and  criminal,  knew  a  man  incapable  of  lying 
or  deception  when  he  saw  one.  The  doctor  was  setting  no  trap  what- 
ever; in  fact,  his  next  words  provided  a  valuable  cue  to  take  up. 

"Yes,  of  course  —  he  must  be  acting  chief  of  brigade  by  now.  Tall, 
red-faced,  monocle  —  " 

"Oh,  Major  Amidon!"  cried  Boling,  as  if  remembering.  "I  know 
him  only  by  sight,  naturally.  As  you  say,  he's  acting  chief  of  battalion; 
probably  he'll  get  a  promotion  soon.  He's  quite  well,  and  very  much 
liked  by  the  men." 

The  thin  old  man  passed  back  Boling's  papers  and  inquired  courte- 
ously after  the  uncle  in  Eastbourne.  Boling  readily  named  Philip 
Davis,  who  would  have  been  at  pains  to  make  for  himself  a  good 
reputation.  It  developed  that  both  of  Boling's  entertainers  knew  Mr. 
Davis  slightly  —  proprietor  of  the  Royal  Oak,  a  fine  old  public  house. 
Public  houses,  amplified  the  doctor,  weren't  what  they  had  been  in 
the  eighties,  but  the  Royal  Oak  was  a  happy  survival  from  that  golden 
age.  And  so  on. 

With  relish  Boling  drained  his  last  drop  of  tea,  ate  his  last  crumb  of 
muffin.  His  eyes  roamed  about  the  room,  which  he  already  regarded 
as  an  ideal  headquarters.  Even  his  momentary  nervousness  about  the 
constable  in  the  house  behind  had  left  him.  He  reflected  that  the  very 
closeness  of  an  official  would  eliminate  any  prying  or  searching  by  the 


THE    MAN    WHO    WAS    NOT    DEAD  353 

enemy  He'd  get  on  to  Eastbourne,  have  Davis  set  the  machinery 
going,  and  then  pop  back  here  to  wait  in  comfort  for  the  ripe  moment 
when,  the  chief  dangers  of  conquest  gone  by,  he  could  step  forth.  .  .  . 

He  rose  with  actual  regret  that  he  must  get  about  his  business 
"I  thank  you  all  so  much,"  he  said.  "And  now  it's  quite 
really  must  be  on  my  way." 

"Private  Boling,"  said  the  old  man  with  the  blue  gown, 
you  go,  I  have  a  confession  to  make." 

"Confession?"  spluttered  the  doctor,  and  Mrs.  Hudson  stare. 

amazement.  .    _ 

"Exactly  "  Two  fine,  gaunt  old  hands  rose  and  placed  their  nngei 
tips  together.  "When  you  came  here  I  couldn't  be  sure  about  you, 
things  being  as  they  are  these  days." 

"Quite  so,  quite  so,"  interjected  the  Doctor.  "Alien  enemies  and 
all  that.  You  understand,  young  man." 

"Of  course,"  Boling  smiled  winningly. 

"And  so,"  continued  his  host,  "I  was  guilty  of  a  lie.  But  now  that 
I've  had  a  look  at  you,  I  am  sure  of  what  you  are.  And  let  me  say  that 
I  do  have  a  telephone,  after  all.  You  are  quite  free  to  use  it.  1 

the  door  there." 

Boling  felt  his  heart  warm  with  self-satisfaction.  He  had  always 
considered  himself  a  prince  of  deceivers;  this  admission  on  the  part 
of  the  scrawny  dotard  was  altogether  pleasant.  Thankfully  he  entered 
a  dark  little  hallway  from  the  wall  of  which  sprouted  the  telephone. 
He  lifted  the  receiver  and  called  the  number  he  had  memorized. 

"Hello,"  he  greeted  the  man  who  made  guarded  answer.  "Is  that 
Mr  Philip  Davis?  .  .  .  Your  nephew,  Amos  Boling,  here.  I'm  coming 
to  town  at  once.  I'll  meet  you  and  the  others  wherever  you  say  ... 
What's  the  name  of  your  pub  again?  .  .  .  The  Royal  Oak?  Very 
good,  we'll  meet  there  at  nine  o'clock." 

'  "That  will  do,"  said  the  dry  voice  of  his  host  behind  his  very 
shoulder.  "Hang  up,  Mr.  Boling.  At  once." 

Bolincr  spun  around,  his  heart  somersaulting  with  sudden  terror. 
The  gaunt  figure  stepped  back  very  smoothly  and  rapidly  for  so 
aged  a  man.  The  right  hand  dropped  again  into  the  pocket  of 
old  blue  dressing  gown.  It  brought  out  a  small,  broad-muzzled  pistol, 
which  the  man  held  leveled  at  Boling's  belly. 
"I  asked  you  to  telephone,  Mr.  Boling,  in  hopes  that  you  woulc 


354  THE    MAN    WHO    WAS    NOT   DEAD 

somehow  reveal  your  fellow  agents.  We  know  that  they'll  be  at  the 
Royal  Oak  at  nine.  A  party  of  police  will  appear  to  take  them  in 
charge.  As  for  you  —  Mrs.  Hudson,  please  step  across  the  back  yard 
and  ask  Constable  Timmons  to  come  at  once." 

Boling  glared.  His  right  hand  moved,  as  stealthily  as  a  snake, 
toward  his  hip. 

"None  of  that,"  barked  the  doctor  from  the  other  side  of  the  sitting 
room.  He,  too,  was  on  his  feet,  jerking  open  a  drawer  in  the  center 
table.  From  it  he  took  a  big  service  revolver,  of  antiquated  make  but 
uncommonly  well  kept.  The  plump  old  hand  hefted  the  weapon 
knowingly.  "Lift  your  arms,  sir,  and  at  once." 

Fuming,  Boling  obeyed.  The  blue  dressing  gown  glided  toward 
him,  die  left  hand  snatched  away  the  flat  automatic  in  his  hip  pocket. 

"I  observed  that  bulge  in  your  otherwise  neat  uniform,"  commented 
the  lean  old  man,  "and  pondered  that  pocket  pistols  are  not  regula- 
tion for  infantry  privates.  It  was  one  of  several  inconsistencies  that 
branded  you  as  an  enemy  agent.  Will  you  take  the  armchair,  Mr. 
Boling?  I  will  explain." 

There  was  nothing  to  do,  under  the  muzzles  of  diose  guns,  but  to 
sit  and  listen. 

"The  apparition  of  a  British  soldier  trying  hard  to  disguise  an 
American  accent  intrigued  me,  but  did  not  condemn  you  at  first. 
However,  the  knee  of  your  trousers  — I  always  look  first  at  the 
trouser  knee  of  a  stranger  —  was  so  violently  torn  as  to  suggest  a  heavy 
fall  somewhere.  The  rest  of  your  kit  was  disarranged  as  well.  But 
your  boots  — I  always  look  at  boots  second  — were  innocent  of 
scuff  or  even  much  wear.  I  knew  at  once  that  your  story  of  a  long 
night's  tramp,  with  trippings  and  tumblings,  was  a  lie." 

Boling  summoned  all  his  assurance.  "See  here,"  he  cried  harshly, 
"I  don't  mind  a  little  joke  or  whatever,  but  this  has  gone  far  enough, 
I'm  a  soldier  and  as  such  a  defender  of  the  realm.  If  you  offer  me 
violence  —  " 

"There  will  be  no  violence  unless  you  bring  it  on  yourself.  Suffer 
me  to  continue:  You  caused  me  even  more  suspicion  when,  calling 
yourself  a  private  of  the  Fifth  Northumberland  Fusiliers,  you  yet 
patently  failed  to  recognize  die  name  of  my  old  friend  here.  He,  too, 
was  of  the  Fifth,  and  in  civilian  life  has  won  such  fame  as  few 
Fusiliers  can  boast.  The  whole  world  reads  his  writings  —  " 


THE    MAN    WHO    WAS    NOT   DEAD  355 

"Please,  please,"  murmured  the  doctor  gently. 
"I  do  not  seek  to  embarrass  you,  my  dear  fellow,"  assured  the  lean 
host,  "only  to  taunt  this  sorry  deceiver  with  Ins  own  dumsine* 
After  that,  Mr.  Boling,  your  anxiety  to  show  your  credentials  to  i 
who  had  not  asked  for  them  and  had  no  authority  to  examine  tl 
your  talk  about  the  service,  plainly  committed  to  memory  from  a 
book;  and,  finally,  your  glib  talk  about  one  Major  Armdon  who 
does  not  exist  —  these  were  sufficient  proof. 

"Does  not  exist?"  almost  barked  the  doctor.  "What  do  you  mean? 
Of  course  Major  Armdon  exists.  He  and  I  served  togeth er . 

Then  he  broke  off  abruptly,  and  his  eyes  bulged  foolishly.  1 
coughed  and  snickered  in  embarrassed  apology. 
"  "Dear  me,  now  I  know  that  I'm  doddering,"  he  said  more  gently. 
"You're  right,  my  dear  fellow -Major  Amidon  exists  no  longer. 
He  retired  in  1910,  and  you  yourself  pointed  out  his  death  notice 
me  five  years  ago.  Odd  how  old  memories  cling  on  and  deceive 
-good  psychological  point  there  somewhere  ... 

His  voice  trailed  off,  and  his  comrade  triumphantly  resumed  the 

indictment  of  Boling:  , 

"My  mind  returned  to  the  problem  of  your  disordered 
well-kept  shoes.  By  deductive  reasoning  I  considered  and 
one  possibility  after  another.  It  was  increasingly  plain  that  you  had 
fallen  from  a  height,  but  had  not  walked  far  to  get  here.  Had  you 
traveled  in  a  motor?  But  this  is  the  only  road  hereabouts,  and  at 
one,  running  to  a  dead  end  two  miles  up  the  downs.  We  have  been 
awake  for  hours,  and  would  have  heard  a  machine.  A  horse  then? 
Possible,  even  in  these  mechanized  times,  but  your  trousers  bear  no 
trace  of  sitting  astride  a  saddle.  Bicycle?  But  you  would  have  worn 
a  clip  on  the  ankle  next  the  sprocket,  and  that  clip  would  have 
creased  your  trouser  cuff.  What  does  this  leave? 
"What?"  asked  the  fat  doctor,  as  eagerly  as  a  child  hearing  a  story. 
"What  indeed,  but  an  airplane  and  a  parachute?  And  what  does 
a  parachute  signify  in  these  days  but  G*™«™™™-^ 
has  come  to  our  humble  door  in  the  presence  of  Mr  Boling? 
white  head  bowed,  like  an  actor's  taking  a  curtain  call,  then  turned 
toward  the  front  door.  "Ah,  here  returns  Mrs.  Hudson,  with  Constable 
Timmons.  Constable,  we  have  a  German  spy  for  you  I 
charge." 


35^  THE    MAN    WHO    WAS    NOT    DEAD 

Boling  came  to  his  feet,  almost  ready  to  brave  the  two  pistols  that 
covered  him.  "You're  a  devil!"  he  raged  at  his  discoverer. 

The  blue  eyes  twinkled.  "Not  at  all.  I  am  an  old  man  who  has 
retained  the  use  of  his  brains,  even  after  long  and  restful  idleness." 

The  sturdy  constable  approached  Boling,  a  pair  of  gleaming  man- 
acles in  his  hands.  "Will  you  come  along  quietly?"  he  asked  formally, 
and  Boling  held  out  his  wrists.  He  was  beaten. 

The  old  doctor  dropped  his  revolver  back  into  its  drawer,  and 
tramped  across  to  his  friend. 

"Amazing!"  he  almost  bellowed.  "I  thought  I  was  past  wondering 
at  you,  but  —  amazing,  that's  all  I  can  say!" 

A  blue-sleeved  arm  lifted,  the  fine  lean  hand  patted  the  doctor's 
tweed  shoulder  affectionately.  And  even  before  the  words  were 
spoken,  as  they  must  have  been  spoken  so  often  in  past  years,  Boling 
suddenly  knew  what  they  would  be: 

"Elementary,  my  dear  Watson,"  said  old  Mr.  Sherlock  Holmes. 


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 

J_HE  EDITOR  hereby  makes  grateful  acknowledgment  to  the  fol- 
lowing authors'  representatives,  publishers,  and  authors  for  giving 
permission  to  reprint  the  material  in  this  volume : 

D.  Appleton-Century  Company,  Inc.,  for  The  Adventure  of  the 
Clothes-Line  by  Carolyn  Wells,  published  in  "The  Century"  maga- 
zine, May,  1915.  Copyright,  1915,  by  The  Century  Company  and 
1942  by  D.  Appleton-Century  Company,  Inc. 

Lady  Cynthia  Asquith  and  Ann  Watkins,  Inc.,  for  The  Adventure 
of  the  Two  Collaborators  by  Sir  James  M.  Barrie. 

"The  Baltimore  Sun"  and  "The  Manchester  Guardian"  for  The 
End  of  Sherlock  Holmes  by  A.  E.  P. 

Francis  Hyde  Bangs  for  Shyloc^  Homes:  His  Posthumous 
Memoirs  by  John  Kendrick  Bangs. 

Brandt  &  Brandt  for  Holmloc\  Shears  Arrives  Too  Late  from  THE 
EXPLOITS  OF  ARSENE  LUPIN  by  Maurice  Leblanc.  Copyright  1907  by  Alex- 
ander Texeira  de  Mattos. 

Dr.  Logan  Clendening  for  The  Case  of  the  Missing  Patriarchs. 

August  Derleth  for  The  Adventure  of  the  Norcross  Riddle. 

Mrs.  Harvey  Dodd  for  The  Great  Pegram  Mystery  from  THE  FACE 
AND  THE  MASK  by  Robert  Barr. 

Doubleday,  Doran  and  Company,  Inc.,  for  The  Adventures  of 
Shamroc\  Jolnes  from  SIXES  AND  SEVENS  by  O.  Henry.  Copyright, 
1911,  1939,  by  Doubleday,  Doran  and  Company,  Inc. 

Mrs.  W.  O.  Fuller  for  The  Mary  Queen  of  Scots  Jewel  by  William 

O.  Fuller. 

Harper  and  Brothers  for  The  Stranger  Unravels  a  Mystery  from 
THE  PURSUIT  OF  THE  HOUSE-BOAT  by  John  Kendrick  Bangs  and  for  A 
Double-Barrelled  Detective  Story  from  THE  MAN  THAT  CORRUPTED 
HADLEYBURG  by  Mark  Twain. 

Houghton  Mifflin  Company  for  The  Stolen  Cigar  Case  from  CON- 
DENSED NOVELS  :  SECOND  SERIES  by  Bret  Harte. 

Hugh  Kingsmill  for  The  Ruby  of  Khitmandu. 


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 

Frederic  Arnold  Kummer  for  The  Canterbury  Cathedral  Murder 
by  Basil  Mitchell  and  Mr.  Kummer. 

Stephen  Leacock  for  Maddened  by  Mystery  from  NONSENSE  NOVELS 
and  An  Irreducible  Detective  Story  from  FURTHER  FOOLISHNESS. 

Kenneth  Macgowan  for  his  biographical  sketch  of  Sherlock 
Holmes. 

Harold  Ober  for  The  Case  of  the  Missing  Lady  from  PARTNERS  IN 
CRIME  by  Agatha  Christie.  Copyright,  1929,  by  Agatha  Christie.  Re- 
printed by  permission  of  the  author. 

Paul  R.  Reynolds  &  Son  for  The  Adventure  of  the  Remarkable 
Worm  by  Stuart  Palmer. 

S.  C.  Roberts  for  Christmas  Eve. 

Julius  Schwartz  for  But  Our  Hero  Was  Not  Dead  by  Manly  Wade 
Wellman. 

Vincent  Starrett  for  The  Unique  Hamlet. 

Frederic  Dorr  Steele  for  The  Adventure  of  the  Murdered  Art  Edi- 
tor (copyright,  1933,  by  Robert  McBride  &  Co.)  and  for  his  drawings. 

Willis  Kingsley  Wing  for  The  Adventure  of  the  Illustrious  Im- 
postor by  Anthony  Boucher. 

Special  thanks  are  due  the  following  for  their  generous  co-opera- 
tion and  enthusiastic  encouragement: 
Vincent  Starrett  of  Chicago,  Illinois 
P.  M.  Stone  of  Waltham,  Massachusetts 
Ned  Guymon  of  San  Diego,  California 
James  Sandoe  of  Boulder,  Colorado 
Christopher  Morley  of  Roslyn  Heights,  New  York 
Edgar  W.  Smith  of  New  York  City 
William  A.  P.  White  of  Berkeley,  California 
August  Derleth  of  Sauk  City,  Wisconsin 
Lieutenant  Stuart  Palmer  of  Washington,  D.C. 
Frederic  Dorr  Steele  of  New  York  City 
E.  A.  Osborne  of  London,  England 
Charles  Honce  of  New  York  City 
David  Randall  of  Larchmont,  New  York 
Paul  North  Rice,  Chief  of  the  Reference  Department  of  the  New 
York  Public  Library 


•BIBLIOGRAPHY 

Parodies  and  Pastiches  of  Sherlock  Holmes 


Andrews,  Charlton.  The  Bound  of  the  Astorbilts.  "The  Bookman,"  June 
••:        ThT Resources  of  Mycroft  Holmes.  "The  Bookman,"  December 

[Anon./MEMORiAS  ULTIMAS  DE  SHERLOCK  HOLMES.  Barcelona,  Editorial 

Atlanta,  n.d.  A  series  of  books. 
Bangs,  John  Kendrick.  The  Stranger  Unravels  a  Mystery.  THE  PURSUIT  c 

THE  HOUSE-BOAT  (New  York,  Harper,  1897). 
The  Mystery  of  Pm^ham's  Diamond  Stud.  THE  DREAMERS:  A  CLUI 

(New  York,  Harper,  1899). 
Sherloc\  Holmes  Again.  THE  ENCHANTED  TYPE-WRITER  (> 

Harper,  1899). 

Shylock  Homes:  His  Posthumous  Memoirs.  A  series  syndicate 
U.S.  newspapers  in  1903.  Titles  include:  Mr.  Homes  Radiates  a 
Wireless  Message;  Mr.  Homes  Ma^es  an  Important  Confession; 
Mr.  Homes  Foils  a  Conspiracy  and  Gains  a  Fortune;  Mr.  Homes 
Reaches  an  Unhistorical  Conclusion;  Mr.  Homes  Shatters  an 
Alibr  Mr.  Homes  Solves  a  Question  of  Authorship  (in  this 
volume);  Mr.  Homes  Tables  a  "Hard  Case";  Mr.  Homes  Acts 
as  Attorney  for  Solomon. 

R.  HOLMES  &  co.  (New  York,  Harper,  1906). 

A  Pragmatic  Enigma.  POTTED  FICTION   (New  York,  Doubleday, 

Page,  1908).  „ 

Baring,  Maurice.  From  the  Diary  of  Sherlock  Holmes.  "Eye-Witness, 
London,  November  23,  191 1 ;  "The  Living  Age,"  Boston,  June 
20,  1912;  LOST  DIARIES  (London,  Duckworth,  1913). 

Barr  Robert.  Detective  Stories  Gone  Wrong:  The  Adventures  of  Sherlaw 
Kombs,  under  pen-name  of  Luke  Sharp,  in  'The  Idler  Maga- 
zine," London  and  New  York,  May  1892.  Retitled  The  Great 
Pegram  Mystery,  in  THE  FACE  AND  THE  MASK  (London,  Hutch- 
inson,  1894;  New  York,  Stokes,  1895). 

Barrie,  Sir  James  M.  The  Adventure  of  the  Two  Collaborators.  In  Chap- 


BIBLIOGRAPHY 

ter  XI  of  Sir  Arthur  Conan  Doyle's  autobiography,  MEMORIES 
AND  ADVENTURES  (London,  Hodder  &  Stoughton,  1924;  Boston, 
Little,  Brown,  1924). 
Berkeley,  Anthony.  Holmes  and  the  Dasher.  In  Lesson  XIX  of  JUGGED 

JOURNALISM,  as  by  A.  B.  Cox,  (London,  Jenkins,  1925). 
Boucher,  Anthony  [William  A.  P.  White].  The  Adventure  of  the  Illus- 
trious Impostor.  No  appearance  prior  to  this  volume. 
Cami,  Les  Aventures  de  Loufoc\  Holmes  (circa  1895).  Mentioned  in 
Regis  Messac's  LE  "DETECTIVE  NOVEL"  ET  L'INFLUENCE  DE  LA  PEN- 
SEE  SCIENTIFIQUE  (Paris,  Champion,  1929);  further  data  lacking. 
Castier,  Jules.  The  Footprints  on  the  Ceiling.  RATHER  LIKE  .  .  .  (London, 

Jenkins,  1920;  Philadelphia,  Lippincott,  1920). 

Christie,  Agatha.  The  Case  of  the  Missing  Lady.  PARTNERS  IN  CRIME  (Lon- 
don, Collins,  1929;  New  York,  Dodd,  Mead,  1929). 
Clemens,  Samuel  Langhorne.  See  Twain,  Mark. 

Clendening,  M.D.,  Logan.  The  Case  of  the  Missing  Patriarchs.  "Sherlock- 
iana"  leaflet  (Ysleta,  Texas,  Hill,  1934),  privately  printed,  lim- 
ited to  30  copies.  To  be  included  in  PROFILE  BY  GASLIGHT,  edited 
by  Edgar  W.  Smith,  (New  York,  Simon  &  Schuster,  1944). 
Clouston,  J.  Storer.  The  Truthful  Lady.  CARRINGTON'S  CASES  (Edinburgh, 

Blackwood,  1920). 

Cooper,  J.  Alston.  Dr.  Watson's  Wedding  Present.  "The  Bookman,"  Feb- 
ruary 1903. 

Cox,  A.  B.  See  Berkeley,  Anthony. 

Crawfurd,  Oswald.  Our  Mr.  Smith.  In  the  Introduction  to  THE  REVELA- 
TIONS OF  INSPECTOR  MORGAN  (New  York,  Dodd,  Mead,  1907). 
Dannay,  Frederic.  See  Queen,  Ellery. 
Derleth,  August.  The  Adventure  of  the  Blacf^  Narcissus.  "The  Dragnet," 

February  1929. 

The  Adventure  of  the  Missing  Tenants.  "The  Dragnet,"  June  1929. 
The  Adventure  of  the  Broken  Chessman.  "The  Dragnet,"  Septem- 
ber 1929. 

The  Adventure  of  the  Limping  Man.  "Detective  Trails,"  Decem- 
ber 1929. 

The  Adventure  of  the  Late  Mr.  Faversham.  "The  Dragnet,"  De- 
cember 1929. 

The  Adventure  of  the  Blac\  Cardinal.  "Gangster  Stories,"  March 
1930. 


BIBLIOGRAPHY 

The  Adventure  of  the  Norcross  Riddle.  No  appearance  prior  to 

this  volume. 
Dunbar,  Robin.  Sherloc^  Holmes  Up-to-Date.  THE  DETECTIVE  BUSINESS 

(Chicago,  Kerr,  1909). 
Ferguson,  Rachel.  His  Last  Scrape;  or,  Holmes,  Sweet  Holmes!  NYMPHS 

AND  SATIRES  (London,  Benn,  1932). 
Ford,  Corey.  The  Rollo  Boys  with  Sherloc\  in  Mayfair;  or,  Keep  It  Under 

Your  Green  Hat.  THREE  ROUSING  CHEERS  FOR  THE  ROLLO  BOYS 

(New  York,  Doran,  1925);  "The  Bookman,"  January  1926. 
Ford,  James  L.  The  Story  of  Bishop  Johnson.  "The  Pocket  Magazine," 

November  1895. 
Forrest,  George  F.  The  Adventure  of  the  Diamond  Necklace.  MISFITS: 

A  BOOK  OF  PARODIES  (Oxford,  Harvey,  1905). 
Fuller,  William  O.  The  Mary  Queen  of  Scots  Jewel.  First  published  as  A 

NIGHT  WITH  SHERLOCK  HOLMES  (Cambridge,  Mass.,  1929),  pri- 
vately printed,  limited  to  200  copies. 
Harte,  (Francis)  Bret.  The  Stolen  Cigar  Case.  CONDENSED  NOVELS:  SECOND 

SERIES  (London,  Chatto  &  Windus,  1902;  Boston,  Houghton, 

Mifflin,  1902). 
Heard,  H.  F.  A  TASTE  FOR  HONEY  (New  York,  Vanguard,  1941;  London, 

Cassell,  1942). 

REPLY  PAID  (New  York,  Vanguard,  1942;  London,  Cassell,  1943). 

Henry,  O.  [William  Sydney  Porter].  The  Sleuths  and  The  Adventures  of 

Shamroc^  Jolnes.  SIXES  AND  SEVENS  (Garden  City,  Doubleday, 

Page,  1911)- 

The  Detective  Detector.  WAIFS  AND  STRAYS  (Garden  City,  Double- 
day,  Page,  1917). 
Jones,  H.  Bedford.  The  Affair  of  the  Aluminum  Crutch.  "Palm  Springs 

News,"  February  and  March  1936. 
Kingsmill,  Hugh.  The  Ruby  of  Khitmandu.  "The  Bookman,"  April 

1932. 

Kummer,  Frederic  Arnold  and  Mitchell,  Basil.  THE  ADVENTURE  OF  THE 
QUEEN  BEE.  "Mystery,"  July,  August,  September  and  October 
1933;  based  on  the  London  stage  play,  THE  HOLMESES  OF  BAKER 
STREET,  by  Mr.  Mitchell. 

The  Canterbury  Cathedral  Murder.  "Mystery,"  December  1933. 
Lang,  Andrew.  At  the  Sign  of  the  Ship.  "Longman's  Magazine,"  Lon- 
don, September  1905. 


362  BIBLIOGRAPHY 

Leacock,  Stephen.  Maddened  by  Mystery;  or,  The  Defective  Detective. 
NONSENSE    NOVELS    (London,   Lane,    1911;   New    York,   Lane, 
1911). 
An  Irreducible  Detective  Story.  FURTHER  FOOLISHNESS  (New  York, 

Lane,  1916;  London,  Lane,  1917). 
Leblanc,  Maurice.  HolmlocJ^  Shears  Arrives  Too  Late.  THE  EXPLOITS  OF 

ARSENE  LUPIN  (New  York,  Harper,  1907). 

THE    FAIR-HAIRED    LADY    (London,    Richards,    1909),   reissued    as 

ARSENE   LUPIN   VERSUS   HOLMLOCK   SHEARS    (London,   Richards, 

1909),  published  in  the  U.S.  as  THE  BLONDE  LADY  (New  York, 

Doubleday,  Page,  1910). 

THE  HOLLOW  NEEDLE  (New  York,  Doubleday,  Page,  1910;  London, 

Nash,  1911). 

Lee,  Manfred  B.  See  Queen,  Ellery. 

Lehmann,  R.  C.  THE  ADVENTURES  OF  PICKLOCK  HOLES  (London,  Bradbury, 
Agnew,  1901).  Appeared  first  in  "Punch,"  London,  1893-1894, 
under  pen-name  of  "Cunnin  Toil."  Contents:  The  Bishop's 
Crime;  The  Dune's  Feather;  Lady  Hilda's  Mystery;  The  Escape 
of  the  Butt-Dog;  The  Hungarian  Diamond;  The  Umbrosa  Bur- 
glary (in  this  volume);  The  Stolen  March;  Picl^locf^s  Disap- 
pearance. 

Mallett,  Richard.  The  Case  of  the  Pearls.  "Punch,"  November  21,  1934. 
The  Case  of  the  Traveller.  "Punch,"  December  26,  1934. 
The  Case  of  the  Pursuit.  "Punch,"  January  23,  1935. 
The  Case  of  the  Impersonation.  "Punch,"  May  8,  1935. 
The  Case  of  the  Diabolical  Plot.  "Punch,"  June  12,  1935. 
Mitchell,  Basil.  See  under  Kummer,  Frederic  Arnold. 
Munkittrick,  R.  K.  The  Sign  of  the  "400."  "Puck,"  New  York,  October 

24,  1894. 
[A.  E.  P.].  The  End  of  Sherloc^  Holmes.  "The  Manchester  Guardian," 

July  7,  1927;  "The  Living  Age,"  Boston,  August  15,  1927. 
Palmer,  Stuart.  The  Adventure  of  the  Remarkable  Worm.  No  appearance 

prior  to  this  volume. 

The  Adventure  of  the  Marked  Man.  "Ellery  Queen's  Mystery  Mag- 
azine," July  1944. 

Pearson,  Edmund  Lester.  Sherloci^  Holmes  and  the  Drood  Mystery.  In 
Chapter  III  of  THE  SECRET  BOOK  (New  York,  Macmillan,  1914). 
Porter,  William  Sydney.  See  Henry,  O. 
Queen,  Ellery  [Frederic  Dannay  and  Manfred  B.  Lee].     The  Disappear- 


BIBLIOGRAPHY 

ance  of  Mr.  James  Phillimore.  Based  on  a  radio  drama  in  The 
Adventures  of  Ellery  Queen,  broadcast  January  14  and  16,  1943. 

Ramsay,  Allan.  See  Zero. 

Roberts,  S.  C.  CHRISTMAS  EVE  (Cambridge,  England,   1936),  privately 

printed,  limited  to  100  copies. 
Sharp,  Luke.  See  Barr,  Robert. 
Smith,  Harry  B.  Sherloc^  Holmes  Solves  the  Mystery  of  Edwin  Drood. 

"Munsey's  Magazine,"  December  1924.  Published  in  book  form 

as  HOW  SHERLOCK  HOLMES   SOLVED  THE  MYSTERY  OF  EDWIN  DROOD 

(Glen  Rock,  Pa.,  Klinefelter,  1934),  privately  printed,  limited  to 

33  copies. 
Starrett,  Vincent.  THE  UNIQUE  HAMLET  (Chicago,  1920),  privately  printed. 

Reprinted  in  221  B:   STUDIES  IN  SHERLOCK  HOLMES  BY  VARIOUS 

HANDS,  edited  by  Mr.  Starrett,  (New  York,  Macmillan,  1940). 
Steele,  Frederic  Dorr.  The  Adventure  of  the  Missing  Hatrac^.  "The 

Players  Bulletin,"  October  15,  1926.  Reprinted  in  THE  PLAYERS' 

BOOK   (1938). 

The  Attempted  Murder  of  Malcolm  Duncan.  "The  Players  Bulle- 
tin," June  i,  1932. 

The  Adventure  of  the  Murdered  Art  Editor.  SPOOFS,  edited  by  Rich- 
ard Butler  Glaenzer,  (New  York,  McBride,  1933). 

Thierry,  James  Francis.  THE  ADVENTURE  OF  THE  ELEVEN  CUFF-BUTTONS 
(New  York,  Neale,  1918). 

Twain,  Mark  [Samuel  Langhorne  Clemens].  A  DOUBLE-BARRELLED  DE- 
TECTIVE STORY  (New  York,  Harper,  1902). 

Upward,  Allen.  The  Adventure  of  the  Stolen  Doormat.  THE  WONDERFUL 
CAREER  OF  EBENEZER  LOBE  (London,  Hurst  and  Blackett,  1900). 

Veth,  Cornelis.  DE  ALLERLAATSTE  AVONTUREN  VAN  SIR  SHERLOCK  HOLMES 
(Leiden,  Netherlands,  1912).  Contents:  The  Moving  Picture 
Theatre;  The  Adventure  of  the  Bloody  Post  Parcel;  The  Adven- 
ture of  the  Singular  Advertisement;  The  Adventure  of  the  Mys- 
terious Tom-Cat. 

Wellman,  Manly  Wade.  The  Man  Who  Was  Not  Dead,  originally  titled 
But  Our  Hero  Was  Not  Dead.  "Argosy,"  August  9,  1941. 

Wells,  Carolyn.  The  Adventure  of  the  Clothes-Line.  "The  Century," 
May  1915. 

White,  William  A.  P.  See  Boucher,  Anthony. 

Zero  [Allan  Ramsay].  The  Adventure  of  the  Table  Foot.  "The  Bohe- 
mian," London,  January  1894. 


INDEX 

ShcrlocJ^  Holmes' s  Other  Names 


Bones,  Thinlock,  xi,  231-234  Homes,  F.  H.  A.,  xi 

Bones,  Warlock,  xvii  Homes,  Padlock,  xi 

Homes,  Shylock,  xi,  191,  208-217, 

Cohen,   Sherlock,   xi  359 

Hone,  Purlock,  xi,  238-244 

Fu-erh-mo-hsi,  ix  Hope,  Sherrington,  ix,  x 

Great  Detective,  the,  218-226,  332-  Jolnes,  Shamrock,  xi,  175-181,  361 

335  Jones,  Hemlock,  xi,  164-174 

great  detective,  the,  227,  228 

Kombs,  Sherlaw,  xi,  3-13,  359 

H-LM-S,  xvii 

Holes,  Picklock,  xi,  185-189,  235,  Monk,  Sherlock,  xi 

332,  362  Mycroft,  Mr.,  xviii 

Holmes,  Hemlock,  xvii 

Holmes,  Loufock,  360  Ol-mes,  Sherlock,  xiii 

Holmes,  Raffles,  191,  256,  359 

Holmes,  Sherrinford,  ix  Pons,  Solar,  xi,  261-274 

Holmes,   Sherringford,  x 

Holmes,  Shirley,  xi,  256,  257,  313-  Shears,  Holmlock,  xi,  14-38,  362 

329  Sholmes,  Herlock,  xi,  15 

Holmes,  Sir  Sherlock,  xvii,  363  Sholmes,  Herlock,  15 


Dr.  Watson  s  Other  Names 

Goswell,  xvii  Watsis,  Dr.,  xi 

Jobson,  xi,  238-244  Watson,  Bertie,  66-69 

Watson,  Joan,  257,  313-329 

Parker,  26I-J74  Whatson ,xi,  3-13 

Potson,  x,,  185-189  Whatsoname,  xi,  231-234 

Sacker,  Ormond,  ix  Whatsup,  xi,  175-181